The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Hope OCC1Christmas smiles for suffering children 

Children at Hope Community Church Wymondham will be changing the lives of suffering youngsters across the world and making them smile this Christmas, Sandie Shirley reports.

Hope OCC2They helped fill a hundred shoeboxes with small gifts recently to provide disadvantaged children overseas with their only Christmas present.    

The town’s church linked up with charity, Operation Christmas Child, for another year to bring hope and joy to youngsters who are refugees, orphans or victims of famine, disease and war.      

The shoeboxes were sealed with love, care and prayer after pre-school to teenagers filled the boxes on 1 November during the Sunday Service Children’s ‘Uber’ session.

Mia helped filled four boxes with gloves, scarves, sweets and pens. She says: “These children do not have anything so it is good to help them.”  Rachel adds: “I have thought about the little children who have so little and I know the gifts will be going a long way.”     

The boxes were sent to a Norwich depot before leaving the UK by sea or air.  They may continue their journey by truck, rickshaw, elephant or horse and cart, in freezing conditions, in time for Christmas.

More than 100 million shoeboxes have been given to children in over 130 countries since relief organisation, Samaritan's Purse, launched Operation Christmas Child two decades ago. “The shoebox tells a child in need that they are loved while opening up a variety of life-changing opportunities for them, their family and community,” says Samaritan’s Purse.

Hope Community Church meets at 10.30am on Sundays at Wymondham High Academy and provides a full and varied programme for children of all ages. (

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