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Lewis Blythswood has set up shop at the Drill Hall on Church Street, Stornoway, for the annual collection of shoeboxes filled with gifts and goodwill for needy families.

Volunteers are on hand from today (Wednesday November 7th), tomorrow and Friday to take donations of shoeboxes filled with warm clothes, toiletries, toys and treats.

This year’s destination for shoeboxes collected in Lewis and Harris is Romania, where people in poverty-stricken areas will receive gifts packed by warm-hearted givers in the islands, delivered to them in time for Christmas.

The new collection depot for this year is at the Drill Hall on Church Street, open for donations until 7pm on Wednesday (November 7th), from 3-7pm on Thursday November 8th and 2-7pm on Friday November 9th.

Wrapped and packed boxes can be dropped off here, as can individual items including toiletries, warm hats, gloves and scarves and children’s toys.  Volunteers to help check and pack the boxes are also welcomed, even if only for an hour. Just turn up at the Drill Hall and offer your services for a warm welcome.

The pictures show volunteers ready with some of the first boxes donated today (Wednesday). Left to right Nicola Finlayson from Ness, collection co-ordinator Dorothy Kennedy from Vatisker, Back and Ellen Macdonald from Builnacraig Street, Stornoway.

Shoeboxes will be sorted and checked in Stornoway before being sent off to the Blythswood depot in Evanton, Inverness, where they will be added to the national collection.