We care for poor children, too!

PUBLISHED: 15:09 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:21 10 June 2010

A KIND-hearted couple - supported by the community - have put together 1,626 shoe boxes filled with gifts to send to disadvantaged children this Christmas.

A KIND-hearted couple - supported by the community - have put together 1,626 shoe boxes filled with gifts to send to disadvantaged children this Christmas.

Gerald Perkins and his wife Janet, of Hazeldene Gardens, have been busy packing presents as part of Operation Christmas Child, an initiative of the Samaritan Purse charity.

Their boxes will be sent to youngsters living in countries such as Romania and Moldova.

The couple, both 72, have taken part in the project for around 12 years.

Gerald said: "The work has given us a lot of pleasure."

Janet added: "We love doing it. It's great fun and we've got to know a lot of people who then tell their friends and the word spreads. There is so much goodwill."

Gerald added: "We put together about 70 in our first year and the number has gone up every year since. Ever so many people help us. We get support, for instance, from Exmouth Chapel where we attend."

He joked: "We're like Christmas elves and the hard work starts in January."

A number of items including soft toys, clothing, books, sweets and toiletries are packed inside the shoeboxes.

Meanwhile, John and Diana Plastow, of Churchill Road, have assembled and filled 250 shoeboxes for the Samaritan Purse.

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