It has been a bumper Christmas for Team Hope's Shoebox appeal in Laois, with 5,092 boxes delivered to children in the Ukraine.
Co-ordinator Orla Doyle said it was a bigger effort than ever this year, up 460 boxes from last Christmas, gladly accepted by her volunteers.
“There is a lot involved, from going around to schools delivering our leaflets and talking to the children, to collecting the boxes, checking the contents to ensure they comply with export regulations, and loading them on trucks. It's very much a team effort,” she said.
The shoeboxes are packed with toys, treats, stationery and toiletries.In the Ukraine theywill go to an orphan village and a children's shelter.
“They go to children that have nothing, they might be in orphanages, or homes with little in them,” she said.
Most of the shoeboxes are filled by schoolchildren.
“These are gifts from a child to a child. Without the schools, there would be no shoebox appeal. Some individuals also put in a huge effort. One Mountmellick lady gave 160 boxes, and Borris in Ossory ICA gave two car loads. People's generosity and kindness is great. They go above and beyond,” Ms Doyle said.