CHRISTMAS volunteers in Worcestershire are thanked as almost 10million needy children received festive gift-filled shoeboxes across the world last year.

More than 900,000 of the boxes were donated by individuals, groups, churches, schools and workplaces across the UK for Operation Christmas Child, and Bob James, area co-ordinator of Samaritan's Purse in Worcestershire, said people in the county helped make the achievement possible.

He said: "We’re so thankful for the amazing generosity of people in Worcestershire. We can only imagine the joy a child feels when they receive a shoebox, packed with gifts, from someone they don’t know, but someone who cared enough for them and showed them that they are not forgotten at Christmas."

The charity's executive director, Simon Barrington, said the demand for Christmas gifts was increasing.

He said: "Over the past 23 years, Operation Christmas Child has sent more than 113 million boxes to children in over 130 countries.

"The demand is huge and is increasing, year to year.

"I want to encourage more people in Worcestershire to get involved with this amazing programme, so that we can reach even more children with shoeboxes packed with gifts.”

To find out more, visit