A CHARITY, which sends small home comforts to troops serving overseas, kick-started its Christmas shoebox campaign by raising £1,000 at a recent event.
There was food, singing and dancing at the Maltravers Club on September 21, as 102 tickets were sold for the event in aid of the Support Our Soldiers (SOS).
Penny Keen, founder of the Littlehampton SOS branch, said: “It was great really because it was as if everyone who came along were all old friends and it was such a good atmosphere. Some people took away leaflets and offered to do boxes for Christmas, which is great.”
When Penny started volunteering for SOS in January of this year she aimed to send 30 shoeboxes to men and women serving in the forces each month. However, she is now shipping out 50 a month and is hoping to provide a significant contribution to the charity’s nationwide aim of sending 12,000 parcels this Christmas.
“I think people sometimes just need a reminder that they are out there doing a terrible job for us, whether you agree with what they are doing or not is nether here nor there.” Said Penny.
Packages sent to the troops include items such as deodorant, toothpaste, hot chocolate and sweets but there is one item in particular that causes a stir.
Penny said: “They absolutely love Pringles. I’ve had a few smiley face letters about them. We send things to give them a taste of home.”
Penny has a collection of letters sent to her from troops who have benefitted from her charity work.
One reads: “Thank you so much for the parcels you send, it’s extremely kind of you.”
This Saturday, Littlehampton will be welcoming Royal Marines to the town, who will be granted the freedom of the town, during a grand ceremony.
Penny said: “I hope there’s a lot of people to support them because they thoroughly deserve it.”
To donate to the shoebox appeal contact Penny on 01903 719818.