MEMBERS of a town church are set to gather together to fill hundreds of packages for children in developing countries.

People from Droitwich Spa Methodist Church will meet on Saturday, November 17 to pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Last year’s annual packing day saw more than 100 people of all ages fill 355 shoeboxes with gifts as part of the appeal. This year, the church is hoping to beat the previous record and preparations for the day are well under way.

Throughout the year people from church and community groups in Droitwich have been knitting hats, gloves and scarves, sewing pencil cases and purses, as well as wrapping shoeboxes and donating stationery, toiletries, sweets and toys.

The church has also arranged jumble sales to raise funds for the cost of posting the boxes to children in developing countries through the Samaritans’ Purse organisation.

David and Jean Shail, who co-ordinate the church shoebox team, said: “We have again been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have been bringing contributions throughout the year – so far we have 234 wrapped boxes.

“We still need small musical instruments, toys, games, skipping ropes and sweets with a sell-by date after March 2013, but the response from so many people, from the youngest children to the oldest adult, to this appeal has been wonderful.”

The group has collected 239 toothbrushes, 204 face cloths, 106 tablets of soap, 358 tennis balls, 330 notebooks and 176 small cars, as well as much more.

Anyone who would like to join in is invited to the packing day at the Worcester Road church at 10am.