herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Mum's family have Christmas all boxed off for needy children

Susan Coleman, packs shoeboxs in her home for the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal. Picture: Damien Eagers
Susan Coleman, packs shoeboxs in her home for the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal. Picture: Damien Eagers

A south Dublin mum has turned her home into a 'mini-warehouse' holding Christmas shoeboxes for children in need.

Susan Coleman (49), from Rathgar, has volunteered with the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal for 15 years, managing the collection of donations in the area.

The shoeboxes are then sent to 13 countries across Africa and Eastern Europe, where many families live on less than €1 a day.

Susan collects many shoeboxes before taking them to a main warehouse.

"There should be around 600 there at the moment, but we haven't made an official count yet," she told the Herald.

The stockpiles of shoeboxes filled with gifts for children are not limited to industrial estates. Susan's home holds hundreds of boxes each year.

"My home becomes a mini- warehouse," she said.

The feat of holding so many shoeboxes has become a family affair, with three generations of her family helping out.

"My mum and I do a lot. I have to give a lot of credit to my mum," she said.

Meanwhile, Susan's children and family members are lending a hand, packing hundreds of their own personal boxes before the November 11 deadline.

"I think they've filled about 160 boxes so far. It's staggering," she said.

"I have four children and they have grown up with it. My 22-year-old has grown up with it and he and his girlfriend are volunteering in the warehouse."

Drop-off

Susan and her family aren't alone in their good deeds either, as some 50 volunteers help out each year.

Those who fill a shoebox for Team Hope should attach €4 and take it to a local drop-off point before Friday next week.

There are 400 drop-off points nationwide, including all Axa, FastFit/FirstStop branches and Toymaster stores.

To find your nearest drop-off point visit teamhope.ie.

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