Disabled pensioner fills an incredible 70 shoeboxes for poor children

Mary Hewitt with Rotary Club charity boxes she's collected for Shoebox appeal.
Mary Hewitt with Rotary Club charity boxes she's collected for Shoebox appeal.

A generous Boston woman will make a lot of children very happy this festive season after filling boxes and boxes for Rotary Shoebox appeal.

Mary Hewitt, of Boston, has filled 70 shoeboxes full of items including knitting, toilletries, toys, notepads and more for the shoebox scheme this year.

Husband John has been seen around town bringing boxes to and from the office all week.

Mary said she has done similar appeals before and found out about Rotary’s after attending the Boston Community Showcase.

She said: “I do it all year round, I previously did seven years collecting for Operation Christmas Child with my daughter and sister-in-law. We did around 220 boxes between the three of us.”

However, Mary, who suffers from macular degeneration with husband John, had to find something more local after her illness led to her needing a wheelchair.

Despite this setback, she had continued to knit items for shoeboxes - including hats and scarves - and collect toys, just incase her sister-in-law was able to collect them.

She said: “My daughter lives in Sheffield and she always rings me from the shops about cheap toys and notebooks I can donate.”

Initially, after finding out about the Rotary Shoebox appeal she asked Maggie Peberdy, of Boston St Botolph’s Rotary Club, for some boxes and filled 20.

Maggie said: “If we get 50 boxes, it’s usually from a school, we’re absolutely astounded and very thrilled that somebody should put this much effort into the appeal.

“It’s just absolutely extraordinary that one person could do so much.”

Other donators have included Wrangle Primary School (pictured) as well as other individuals and groups across the borough.

The deadline for donating shoeboxes was on Monday and they will then be sent out by the Rotary clubs to poor families in Central and Eastern Europe.