Helping to spread the magic of Christmas to those in need

Stella's Voice hopes generous readers will support its recently launched 2018 Christmas Appeal
Stella's Voice hopes generous readers will support its recently launched 2018 Christmas Appeal

North east-based charity Stella’s Voice has recently launched its 2018 Christmas Appeal.

Based in Peterhead, the charity is appealing for residents and businesses across Aberdeenshire to get involved by donating vital items for vulnerable youngsters in poverty-stricken Moldova.

The organisation fights to protect the world’s most vulnerable youngsters, particularly orphans, from becoming the victims of human traffickers.

It supports homes and an orphanage in Moldova and helps the young victims through school, college or university – with the eventual aim of them becoming self-supporting.

Mark Morgan, the charity’s European director, said: “We have just launched our annual appeal; this is now our 28th year.

“We want schools, churches, individuals, organisations, clubs and groups to get involved across Aberdeenshire, Moray and Angus.

“The appeal teaches children that not everyone lives like them; some people don’t have the things they take for granted.

“Children taking part in the appeal sometimes ask why we want to give youngsters items such as toothpaste for Christmas.

“So we explain to them the importance of the appeal and how something so small to us means so much to someone else.”

The appeal has always been well supported, with hundreds of filled shoe boxes handed in every year.

Stella’s Voice is asking for donations of various items to be packed up in a wrapped shoebox. The charity asks that the box and lid are wrapped separately as this is a customs requirement.

It also welcomes individual items without boxes as there is a continual need for various essentials throughout the year.

Individual items should be placed in either a bag or box and sent to the charity.

Collections can also be arranged.

Those wishing to create a Christmas gift box should get a Christmas Appeal leaflet as it includes a form to note down items inside the box and it also allows people to indicate who the box is for.

Boxes can be created for male or female adults, children (four to eight years), children (nine to 10), teenagers (13 to 15 years) or teenagers (16 years plus).

As well as Christmas gift boxes the charity is seeking donations of the following items:

School items including pens (blue, black and red), correction fluid, scissors, glue sticks, glue (white), art paint brushes, art supplies, canvases for art, pencils, coloured pencils, markers and felt tip pens.

Personal care items including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, feminine pads (with wings), tampons, shaving gel/foam, razors, deodorant, facewash, hair bands and other hair accessories, tissues and cleansing wipes.

Clothing, shoes, bedding, quilts and blankets will also be accepted.

Household items are also required, including washing up liquid, liquid hand soap, washing powder, floor cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, furniture polish, dish-washing sponges and mops.

Items not permitted include toy guns, knives or any weapons, medicines (eg vitamins and paracetamol), alcohol or tobacco.

Bagged sweets can be included in the Christmas gift boxes but must have a sell by date of at least August 2019.

All donated items must be new or in excellent condition.

Filled and wrapped shoeboxes should be handed in to the charity’s Peterhead based at Faith Acres, Inverugie or the Stella’s Voice charity shop at 212 King Street, Aberdeen.

Each completed box requires to be handed in with a £3 transportation fee.

Christmas gift boxes and individual items should be presented to Stella’s Voice by Monday, November 19, to ensure shipping before Christmas.

For more information, to download a Christmas Appeal leaflet or to arrange a Christmas collection, visit www.stellasvoice.org.uk/christmas.

Alternatively email europe@stellasvoice.org or call 0300 303 2520.

Stella’s Voice was established in 1996 and aims to provide safety, shelter and provision for the young people in its care, all within a caring, family environment.

Mark added: “At Stella’s Voice we provide whatever assistance is required to ensure each person in our care progresses through the education system.

“Coupled with training, life skills and apprenticeships, we ensure each person is resourced to fulfil their unique potential.”