National engineering and asset management specialist Briggs Equipment is celebrating 11 years of support for a charity initiative dedicated to spreading a little Christmas cheer to disadvantaged children around the globe.
Samaritan’s Purse UK provides emergency relief to Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and works with communities on issues such as water and sanitation. Each year, the international relief and development organisation distributes gift parcels to youngsters aged between two and 14 years as part of Operation Christmas Child.
Briggs first became involved with the project in 2007 and this year helped out by providing three forklifts and a power pallet truck on free loan from its extensive short-term hire fleet.
Members of the public support Operation Christmas Child by filling a shoebox with gifts. These gifts include toys, clothing, brushes and combs, toothpaste, soap, wind up torches and a variety of school supplies. Around a million boxes are donated each year, so distribution is a huge undertaking to ensure they reach the various destinations at the designated time.
Shoeboxes are collected from drop off points at schools and churches around the country and are then taken to regional depots. Typically, these are warehouses owned by local companies that are made available to Samaritan’s Purse free of charge to support the appeal. Here, boxes are checked for export before being packed into cartons and loaded on to pallets for shipping to the charity’s distribution partners.
Bob Holland, who is a volunteer warehouse manager for Samaritan’s Purse, says they are handling more boxes than ever and over 17,700 boxes have gone out from the Manchester area alone.