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Can you help needy children?

PUBLISHED: 15:59 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:46 07 July 2010

IT'S a small and simple gift - but will make a huge difference to needy children hundreds of miles away.

People in Dereham are being encouraged to take part in a nationwide appeal to fill shoe boxes which will be sent to youngsters in Serbia for Christmas.

IT'S a small and simple gift - but will make a huge difference to needy children hundreds of miles away.

People in Dereham are being encouraged to take part in a nationwide appeal to fill shoe boxes which will be sent to youngsters in Serbia for Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child is run by the charity Samaritan's Purse.

All the town's churches are acting as collection points for shoe boxes and will have leaflets explaining what can be put in them.

People can choose to send a box to boys or girls and in various age groups.

Hundreds were collected in the local area last year and were among 1.24m sent abroad from around Britain. This year it is hoped even more will be sent from Dereham.

Dereham Baptist Church minister the Rev Chris Densham said: “Our challenge to Dereham is to get involved. We are encouraging people to think beyond themselves this Christmas. It is a very small thing but makes a huge difference. It is the power of

a simple gift.”

The boxes will go to a distribution centre in Norwich and be given out around Christmas.

This year they will be sent to Novi Sad, Serbia's second largest city and Norwich's twin town.

Mr Densham said: “They go to children who would not normally have anything. It makes a huge difference to a child who has never had anything like it. It is a really simple way of making a difference.”

The closing date for boxes to be filled and handed in is the end of October.

Each church is acting as a collection point.People need to include £2.50 towards transport costs.

Website - www.operation

christmaschild.org.uk. Tel: 0870 011 2002.

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