Graduate Salon supports Operation Christmas Child Appeal

Hair & Beauty learners from the Grimsby Institute’s Graduate Salon have donated a pile of shoeboxes filled with presents for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Appeal.

Sophia Farren, Specialist Coordinator for Beauty Therapy, explained: “Our learners have to complete an employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship book and I thought it would be better if our learners did something together than them all doing their own separate things for charity.

“Karen Lepley from Operation Christmas Child has been into every single Hair, Beauty and Hair & Media Make-up class to give our learners a talk about Operation Christmas Child, what they do, their recycling scheme and also the collection of shoeboxes. As well as buying the gifts to fill the shoeboxes and wrapping them, our learners have also been down at the Ice House in Grimsby packing the boxes.”

Tania Crozjak, Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing learner, said: “We’ve all gone out of our way to get a box and put little bits in it for either a teenage boy or girl or a baby. We’ve been putting little things like toothbrushes and toothpaste and a pen and paper in, to help them with an education.

“I’ve done three boxes and put things like hair bobbles, costume jewellery for the girls, hats, scarves, gloves and pencil cases in. Because people out there don’t have an education just supplying something as simple as a pencil and some paper can help change that.

Karen Lepley is a volunteer who represents Operation Christmas Child, which is coordinated by Samaritan’s Purse, collected a large pile of filled shoeboxes from the Graduate Salon. Karen said:

“The shoebox appeal started in about 1990 when a chap called Dave Cooke saw a news item about Romanian Orphanages where children had been left without stimulation or presents. He set up an appeal and someone suggested to him the idea of filling a shoebox and since then it has developed worldwide and Samaritan’s Purse has taken over the logistics side of things.

“Basically it’s a shoebox that we give to the child, personalised to their gender and age group, as a gift. They might not get another present in their lives. Hopefully we make it as fun, as useful and as pleasant as it can be. We’ve got a load going to Serbia and we have just sent 10,000 to Romania.

“We really appreciate what the learners have been doing. Last year we checked 21,458 shoeboxes in our region before they went out and hopefully we’ll beat that this year.”