By Bejay Browne
A CHARITY initiative in Paphos is calling on the public to help deliver Christmas presents to children of needy families on Christmas Eve.
Volunteers from ‘A Gift of Love’ have managed to collect more than 450 boxes following an appeal to the public to donate gifts or money to help fill hundreds of shoe boxes with Christmas presents for needy children in the area. They now need help to deliver them on Christmas Eve.
The initiative was started last year in co-operation with Solidarity charity which is currently struggling to feed hundreds families of the district.
This year the Christmas ‘Gift of Love’ is being organised by volunteers Mikka Heaney, Dikla Smith and Soula Christodoulou.
They explained that the charity wanted to ensure that all children in families facing financial problems and needing support were provided with a gift for the holiday season.
“We have reached our goal and a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us. Now we would love people to be secret Santas and help deliver more than 450 boxes to children all over the Paphos district,” Heaney said. The presents will be delivered between 4-5 pm on Christmas Eve.
All of the presents are currently being held at a central Paphos facility dubbed ‘Santa’s sorting office,’ where volunteers are close to finishing checking all contents to ensure they are age appropriate, and repacking them for delivery.
“We have been overwhelmed by the amazing response which has shown that there are still good people out there and a great sense of community in Paphos.”
Sunshine radio, which has only been broadcasting for the last six months, teamed up with Peyia medical centre and dental practice to support the initiative. Sunshine radio listeners and the clinics patients made close to three hundred boxes which were handed over to the charity live on air on Thursday.
They also gave a 1000 euro cash donation, 750 euros from the medical centre and the rest from Sunshine radio.
After hearing the radio interview, international tax and wealth management advisers, Blevins Franks, has also donated 500 euros which will go towards baby milk for infants of needy families.
The volunteers said that the International School of Paphos and Revival fashion store had also managed to collect a large number of Christmas boxes for the children. “Thanks to the efforts of the public, every baby and child in Paphos from newborns up to 18 years will have a special gift under the tree on Christmas day,” said Heaney.
Solidarity was set up in 2012 by Pavlina Patsalou and George Sofokleous and helps all those in need, of any nationality or background.
Gift of love-Solidarity on Facebook, www.gift-of-love-solidarity.org, www.solidaritypaphos.com
Contact Mikka Heaney 96462558, Dikla Smith 97789099, Soula Christodoulou 97829504