WHAT'S IN THE BOX Two girls in Namibia excitedly open their shoeboxes

MARKERSTUDY Group has joined forces with Operation Christmas Child to reach over 30,000 youngsters around the world this festive season. Each year Samaritan’s Purse collect shoeboxes filled with gifts to deliver to vulnerable children through Operation Christmas Child. The West Kent Division of the charity had nowhere to sort and store the boxes in the run up to Christmas this year, leading Markerstudy to offer the use of its Gymnastics Club Kent building in Tunbridge Wells.

Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has distributed more than 146 million shoebox gifts worldwide. Presents inside the boxes include items such as toiletries, stationery, sweets and toys. Nick Cole, Director of Operation Christmas Child UK, said: “Essentially we are an enthusiastic community of local volunteer teams here in the UK and around the world. I’m delighted that Markerstudy have chosen to spur on the local Operation Christmas Child group by providing such great premises to check shoebox gifts.” Other locations where you can drop off donations include Tunbridge Wells Baptist Church, Shoezone in Tonbridge and Christ Church in Southborough.

Visit www.samaritans-purse.org.uk