The generosity of Standard readers is again being called upon to support the annual Rotary Shoebox Appeal as we mark the 10th anniversary of helping spread a little joy.
In years gone by, the appeal has been associated with giving a child a gift at Christmas.
But over the 10 years our newspaper company Johnston Press has supported this scheme, it has become so much more. It is not only a thoughtful Christmas gift, but one that keeps on giving - as the boxes are handed out throughout the year.
So instead of wrapping the box in Christmas paper leaving a child wondering why it’s like this in May, people are being asked to either leave the box blank or decorate it with a beautiful picture to make the receiver smile.
Such a box can be given to a baby, a small child, a teenager or even the elderly.
Your box, with the help of a £2 donation left on the top for travel costs, then makes it way across to children and families in Eastern Europe.
This small gift helps to provide them with a sense of comfort and boosts their morale when things look to be at their worst.
Whether it be for a man or woman, boy or girl, people are encouraged to fill the boxes with everyday items that we might take for granted, such as small toys, pens and paper or a toothbrush and toothpaste.
A small gift goes a long way - and brings a smile to the faces of those who may not have received such a sign of generosity before.
This year’s shoebox appeal is being supported by the Centenary Methodist Church in Boston.
This is where you can collect your empty boxes and return when you have filled them with gifts.
The church, in Red Lion Street, will be open to distribute and collect the boxes from 9.30am to 1pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
The scheme will be running until the final collection date on Friday, November 11.
We also have a few boxes at our new offices at Morgan House.
l Here are just a few ideas of items you can put in the boxes: Toys, balls, jigsaw puzzles, play dough, dolls , stickers and building blocks.
Or why not put in a comb, mirror, make-up, stationery, wrapped soap or even shampoo?
The gifts are sent to establishments such as hospitals, children’s homes, schools, community centres and long term refugee camps.
A card or letter to let the person know where the box has come from is also a nice little addition to add in.
Since Rotary began this appeal, over a million boxes have been handed out.
l For more information visit website www.rotaryshoebox.org