Sundon grandmother Pat Price, 70, has appealed to kind-hearted Herald&Post readers to take part in Operation Christmas Child.
It’s the annual campaign run by Christian charity Samaritans’s Purse to send shoeboxes full of gifts to needy children in the Third World.
Pat accompanied an OCC convoy to Belarus in December and was shocked and saddened by the poverty they encountered.
She said: “We visited schools and hospitals where children are educated and cared for, but with none of the frills we see in the UK.
“One parent families are housed in former communist army blocks. Mothers work 11 hour days, then have to contribute half their wages for one room, a kitchen shared with 20 families and a bathroom with 50.” But she was also heartened by the gratitude and selflessness shown by many of the shoebox recipients.
She said: “We only had a girl’s box for one of the last children – a boy – but he was delighted because it meant he could give his mum and a sister a present, something he’d never been able to do before.”
> Drop off points: Shoe Zone and The Entertainer in The Mall or Luton Christian Bookshop in Crescent Road.