THE pupils and parents of Ilfracombe Junior School have responded magnificently to collect 145 Christmas gift shoeboxes for needy children around the world. The school has topped its previous total of gift-wrapped boxes for Operation Christmas Child, orga

THE pupils and parents of Ilfracombe Junior School have responded magnificently to collect 145 Christmas gift shoeboxes for needy children around the world.The school has topped its previous total of gift-wrapped boxes for Operation Christmas Child, organised by Samaritan's Purse and co-ordinated locally by Grosvenor Church in Barnstaple.Each individual shoebox is a gift for orphans and impoverished children in poverty stricken or disaster afflicted countries in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.It contains items such as toys, educational supplies including stationery, pens, paper and pads, toiletries, sweets and small items of clothing such as socks, scarves and hats."There are fewer children here at the school now, and not as many parents, but they have put their heart and soul into it, which has been fantastic," said Lynne Thorne, one of several staff members who have helped to co-ordinate the effort.For many of the recipients it will be the first time they have received a Christmas present. The shoeboxes from Ilfracombe will now join the many others collected by Grosvenor Church this year and be with a child by Christmas.