Pupils excel with their shoebox appeal
The pupils in St Anne's National School in Rathangan have yet again excelled with their charity shoebox appeal.
Last year the children gathered 147 boxes for the Team Hope Shoe Box appeal and this time around they went one better and managed to create 148 boxes for less well-off children in war torn or impoverished regions of the world.
A spokesperson for the school commented to this newspaper: 'The main reason for taking part is that it teaches children about the importance of the gift of giving - which is important at Christmas time when we in Ireland are lucky to receive so much.'
The shoe box appeal is organised every year by Team Hope which is a group that supports children and communities in 16 different countries throughout Africa and Eastern Europe.
Significantly, the countries in which the team works are those with no social welfare systems, allowances of benefits.
'In Rathangan we send home leaflets which outline the types of items to include, before the Halloween Break,' said the spokesperson.
'Many of our pupils go shopping themselves and fill the boxes which are then beautifully wrapped in Christmas paper and brought to the school after the mid-term break,' she added.
The spokesperson went on to highlight the benefits of being involved in the appeal each year.
'The Shoe Box appeal helps children understand that all of us play our part in helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves,' she said.
She also said everyone involved appreciates the work of the Team Hope volunteers who collect and help distribute them to the different countries.
The school's project coordinator, Annette Doran, has travelled to Armenia and Romania and witnessed first-hand the joy and happiness of the children who receive the boxes.