Leanne appeals for public support for troops

Leanne McKinley is urging people to remember the servicemen and women who will be spending Christmas and New Year in Afghanistan by donating items to the Urban Angels shoebox appeal.
Leanne McKinley is urging people to remember the servicemen and women who will be spending Christmas and New Year in Afghanistan by donating items to the Urban Angels shoebox appeal.
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A YOUNG Glengormley woman is urging local people to back a charity project that will be sending shoeboxes full of essentials and ‘luxury’ items out to Armed Forces personnel serving in Afghanistan over Christmas and New Year.

Leanne Mckinley, a member of the Abundant Life Church, has been working with the Urban Angels charity on a number of projects in recent months, one of which has been to send parcels out to soldiers in Helmand who receive little or no post.

Over the coming weeks, the charity will be filling hundreds of shoeboxes with a variety of items, including sweets and toiletries, and then handing them over to the Ministry of Defence to be shipped out to Afghanistan and distributed to servicemen and women - a morale booster for those forced to spend the festive period thousands of miles from home.

Leanne, who travelled to Africa earlier this year to work with the Watoto humanitarian organisation in an impoverished region of northern Uganda, explained: “Through the charity we have been going into Holywood barracks to work with the wives and children of soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan. We have been doing a programme called Urban Beauty and a range of kids’ programmes.

“We started off working with a few of the women, sending out shoebox parcels to their husbands, but now loads more people have got involved so were going to be sending out as many shoeboxes as we can each month between now and February.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...