16:07 Tuesday 03 December 2013

Burtonians praised for 'astounding generosity' in Soldier Box appeal

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

LATER this week, well over 200 boxes filled with gifts will be sent to troops serving in foreign countries – and each will go with the good will of the people of Burton who donated each and every one of the items inside.

The Support our Soldiers appeal saw thousands of people giving items, in an attempt to bring some festive cheer to soldiers who will be away from their families at Christmas.

The amazing generosity of those donating toiletries and gifts has far exceeded the expectations of campaign organiser, Burton MP Andrew Griffiths, who had to swiftly order more boxes, when the 200 he had expected to fill were complete.

“I have been astounded by the generosity of spirit that the people of Burton have shown through this campaign, and as a result, the servicemen and women will get a lovely treat at Christmas when I’m sure they will be missing their families the most,” the MP said.

A raft of items including toiletries, sweets and gifts have been donated for the troops. Each box contains 10-12 items.

One woman knitted a hat which she donated for the soldiers, along with a note saying she heard it could get cold in Afghanistan and she hoped this would keep the chill at bay.

In another heart-warming donation, a little boy contributed his weekly sweet allowance, saying he hoped the troops would enjoy it.

As well as individual donations, many of which have been made in the Soldier Box in Coopers Square – organisations and groups have made larger contributions.

Members of Burton Rotary Club were among those doing their bit, when they purchased enough goods to fill 40 boxes and deposited them in the box.

John Macpherson, from the club, said: “The contents were specially chosen to provide 20 parcels for women and 20 for men and are sent with the club’s best wishes.”

Mr Griffiths and a team of volunteers spent hours on Sunday packing up the boxes, but were waiting for more containers to be delivered before completing the job.

He told the Mail the boxes would be sent out towards the end of the week to reach the troops for Christmas.

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