The annual Shoebox Appeal brings humanitarian aid to families and individuals in areas of the world where we can make a difference to the lives of people in need. For many years now it has served and operated in The Gomel Region of Belarus.
We need your help to ensure the Shoebox appeal can continue to support the lives of some very worthy recipients including needy families, childrens homes, orphanages, boarding schools and other schools in need, along with single people living alone. With your support we can raise funds to cover the cost of storage, transport and packing.
In former times Gomel was a prosperous city being home to a major division of the Soviet Armed Forces. All of this came to an end when the USSR was dissolved and then unfortunately in 1986 the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station exploded, only 100km from the city of Gomel. Large areas of the Gomel Region were contaminated with Radioactive dust and will remain so for 100’s of years. Almost three decades on they are still trying to come to terms with their circumstances and learning to live with the contamination but they have a long way to go before they can be considered prosperous again.
Every year the Shoebox Appeal load is between 10,000 and 12,000 kg and it includes items such as soft toys, beds, soap, computers, clothes and school equipment - the list is almost endless. Every August, Lions Club members throughout the South East converge on the appeal Warehouse to both deliver and sort donations in preparation for the journey to Gomel. Subject to possible border problems between Poland and Belarus it is anticipated to take a week until it is unloaded in a similar warehouse in Gomel.
In 2007 a new Lions Club formed in Gomel and the members organise the unloading and distribution of the goods to the families and organisations which are to benefit from the humanitarian aid. They work voluntarily, as all Lions do, to ensure our goods bring relief and enjoyment to the most needy people. Giving through these charity pages will make lives in Belarus a little better.