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By Tristan Harris Monday 16 December 2013 Updated: 16/12 22:52
STANDARD readers across Bromsgrove, South Birmingham and Redditch have donated more than 120 seasonal shoeboxes to give UK servicemen and women a better Christmas.
Now, as part of the Support Our Soldiers (SOS) campaign, which we have backed for more than five years, those parcels are en route to those in the armed forces who will be unable to spend the festive season with their families.
Childminder Becky O'Brien, along with her two children, the six she looks after and a friend and her child have collected eight boxes.
This is the third time she has taken part in our campaign.
She said: "We think it's a fantastic appeal - we have been explaining to the children how the soldiers are not able to come home for Christmas.
"We always get a good response."
Becky also took her two children to Bromsgrove's Remembrance commemorations last month.
Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, who also put together a shoebox for the troops, said: "Christmas can be a difficult time for those away from loved ones.
“Receiving one of these shoeboxes full of presents and treats I am sure does much to lift their spirits and lighten the mood."
Amanda Crowden, the Midlands co-ordinator from SOS, described the Bromsgrove and Redditch response as 'amazing'.
"It's overwhelming to have that many boxes that all sorts of people have contributed to.
"It shows the great community spirit in the areas."
Bromsgrove Standard editor Tristan Harris said: "We are proud to be backing the drive by Support Our Soldiers - we always get a fantastic response to this campaign every year and our readers have risen to the challenge again.
"It's wonderful to know that UK servicemen and women based abroad will be getting a morale boost this Christmas, thanks to the people of Bromsgrove, Redditch and South Birmingham."
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