Seniors and students think inside the box at Bield

Senior citizens in North Lanarkshire have been involved with a local college for this year’s ‘Operation Christmas Child’ - a shoebox appeal created by the Samaritan’s Purse to help disaster-stricken children around the world celebrate Christmas.

Tenants at Bield’s Hillcrest Court in Cumbernauld have been giving to those who need it the most in the season of good will.

Decorated shoe boxes were filled with gloves, scarves and hats that were lovingly hand-knitted by the skilled tenants at Hillcrest Court.

Along with the winter essentials, boxes were filled with other personal donations including toiletries and educational tools, such as pens and notebooks.

And, keen to get involved in the festive good deed, students from New College ran a coffee morning at the development, raising charitable funds to purchase further items for the gift packages.

Elizabeth Fox, retirement housing manager at Hillcrest Court, said: “This has been our most successful Shoe Box Appeal in the six years we have being partaking in the charitable endeavour.

“Together with the students of New Lanarkshire College, residents managed to pack up a very herald-worthy 476 shoe boxes.

“The shoebox appeal does great work to care for children in circumstances that might make it difficult for them to be merry during this special time of year.”

Elizabeth said that the tenants had loved helping with the appeal and putting their skills to good use.

She added: “Everyone at Hillcrest Court loves getting into the festive spirit, and spreading the joy, so this particular charity appeal is one that’s very close to the hearts of everyone at the development.

“And the shoebox appeal hasn’t just benefitted children in third world countries - it’s benefitted our tenants here, too.

“Many of them had given up knitting long ago, but this charity drive reinvigorated their passion for the craft and reminded them of just how much they enjoyed it.

“At Hillcrest Court, and at all the Bield developments, our main focus is to provide quality care that enhances and enriches lives. Seeing our tenants knitting and nattering with big smiles on their faces as they worked hard to meet their goal, really demonstrated our Free to Be ethos.”

With the sixth annual shoebox appeal being such a big success, the eager team at Hillcrest Court have already started on 2018’s drive, which will have an increased focus on deprived children in Britain.

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