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BIGGIN HILL & WESTERHAM LIONS CLUB - SHOEBOX APPEAL
Biggin Hill & Westerham Lions Club are again combining with other Lions Clubs in the South East to send aid to Gomel in Belarus As in previous appeals we are asking for shoeboxes (or any small strong boxes ) of goods to be donated.
Alternatively boxes of bulk items, such as clothing, toiletries, stationery, toys, books and educational materials may be donated. Additionally, bicycles, computers, musical instruments, sewing machines and knitting machines are welcome.
FOR A LIST OF SUGGESTED ITEMS FOR SHOE BOX APPEAL 2011 PLEASE VISIT http://www.communigate.co.uk/london/bigginlions/page12.phtml PROHIBITED GOODS FOR SHOEBOX APPEAL The following items cannot be included in shoeboxes as they are considered hazardous by shipping companies or are simply banned: flammable liquids, aerosols, perfumes, aftershave or deodorants, nail varnish, cigarette lighters, matches foodstuffs of any sort including sweets and biscuits and little treats or medical equipment, medicines including vitamins and pain killers. Also no literary books or videos.
Big Yellow Self Storage have again kindly agreed to act as a collection point. Boxes may be taken to their stores in Bromley & Orpington, between 9.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Saturday and 10am till 2pm on Sunday from now until 31st July. (Visit www.bigyellow.co.uk/ to find the stores addresses).
The Lions have been sending aid to Gomel for over 10 years. The items sent are those that many of us take for granted but are a luxury to the disadvantaged families and children in Gomel.
On 26th April 1986 the world's worst nuclear accident happened at Chernobyl in the Ukraine when a huge cloud of radio active dust drifted across Eastern Europe and beyond. Gomel was right in its path and a massive dose of radiation was deposited on the area. It is estimated that it could be at least 900 years before the radiation falls to a "safe" level. Very few people in the Gomel Region were totally unaffected by the nuclear fallout and many have to live with its legacy, with Leukaemia, thyroid and bone cancers, which primarily affects the children who have no choice other than to live in the environment. Additionally there are other genetic defects including sight and other health problems and it is estimated that less than 20% of all children in Belarus can be classed as healthy. It is also estimated that at least 10 million people within the whole fallout area will die young and many cannot work or bring up their families. Many families knew no other life for generations than to live and work on the land which is now so contaminated that it cannot be worked and lies barren and their family's lives are destroyed, leading to depression and further sickness.
Just 23 years on from the disaster, Gomel Region is still a relatively poor and almost forgotten part of Eastern Europe and rarely considered to be news worthy. It is left to charities like ours, who continue to care, to ensure that the plight of these people is not forgotten.
Anyone requiring more information on the appeal or who would like items collected can phone Neil Walker on 01959 700815.