Robert Williams, the Experts in Property estate and lettings agency on Southernhay West in Exeter, is pleased to support the Devon-based charity, cr2ee – Christian Response to Eastern Europe with its annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal, which will deliver Christmas gifts to vulnerable children and struggling families in Eastern Europe this Christmas.
Since 1990, cr2ee has sent millions of pounds and several hundred tonnes of aid to Moldova and, following the Russian invasion, to Ukraine. The Christian charity relies solely on volunteers and donations and was established to show love and offer practical help to those in need, providing medical help and humanitarian aid, running soup kitchens, delivering articulated lorries full of donated essential supplies such as clothing, bedding and food, and engaging with many other projects, including family sponsorship, with aid directed towards the poorest and most vulnerable.
Over the years, the cr2ee Christmas Shoebox Appeal has become increasingly popular. In the months leading up to Christmas, the charity asks for people to pack a shoebox with gifts for a child or adult, and these are taken to Moldova in December ready for Christmas. This year, the charity is hoping to raise more than ever before so it has sufficient boxes to send another lorry loaded with gifts to Ukraine. There are families and children in both countries who have very little and for many, the shoeboxes will be the only present they receive this Christmas.
Hugh Scudder, a trustee of cr2ee, visits both countries regularly to ensure the charity is sending aid which is needed, and to discover what other support is required. He said: “Every little helps individuals and groups cope with the grinding poverty they find themselves in. Our Christmas Shoebox Appeal is extremely special. The children and their families in Moldova – one of the poorest and deprived areas of Europe – live such grim lives and so their joy and excitement in receiving a Christmas Shoebox is beyond words. To the poor in Moldova and now the war-stricken families in Ukraine, Christmas Shoeboxes are not just presents – they are strong symbols of love and hope – and evidence that people in other parts of the world really do care.”
If you’d like to send a Christmas Shoebox to someone in Moldova or Ukraine, pack a shoebox full of new items – some practical, some to play with and some to wear, wrap it in Christmas paper, clearly mark it for a girl or boy (with suggested age ranges), a family, a granny or grandpa, and drop it into the Robert Williams office on Southernhay West. From there, it will make its way to the charity’s store in Exmouth and will then be loaded onto a lorry bound for Eastern Europe.
Oliver Williams, managing director of Robert Williams, said: “We are very pleased to once again support the cr2ee Christmas Shoebox Appeal. My father has always been a strong supporter of the charity’s work and he and my mother will often go and help load the lorries – around 14 tonnes into each, which all has to be done by hand! We’ll be helping out with that this year too. It’s heartbreaking to think of children, families, the elderly, and the injured living in such poor conditions. We are only too pleased to be able to help in some way.”
Alongside is a list of suggested gifts to include in your shoebox. You could make one individually, as a family, or club together with friends and give what you can. Either way, you will be spreading a little joy and happiness across Europe this Christmas.
Pop your completed shoebox into Robert Williams Estate & Lettings Agents, 2 Southernhay West, Exeter, EX1 1JG, before the 25th November for your gift to make its destination in time for Christmas.
For further information about cr2ee, visit www.cr2ee.org.uk. For anything property-related, call 01392 204800.