CHRISTMAS appeal gifts from Normanton residents are winging their way to needy children in eastern Europe.
Boxes collected from Norman-ton schools, churches, community organisations, businesses and residents as part of Operation Christmas Child are in the first batch of 250,000 shoeboxes en route to 14 countries. The gifts are in 19 lorries. The first deliveries were made in Bosnia, Croatia and Romania last week. Further deliveries will take place in 11 other countries with the final handover taking place in Russia between January 6 and 9, as part of the main Christmas celebration period in that country. Operation Christmas Child area co-ordinator Janet Walker said: "We are still processing shoeboxes for the later distribution trips, and anyone who still wants to make a contribution should get in touch. "We are going all-out to beat last year's UK and Ireland total of 1.3 million shoeboxes, and the local support this year has been just fantastic." Anyone wishing to participate should contact the helpline on 0870 011 2002.