OPERATION Christmas Child has reached the milestone of delivering 100 million shoeboxes to needy children around the world thanks to the support of people in Bolton and across Greater Manchester.

Since 1990, through Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse has been providing these gifts to children in more than 100 countries.

More than 38,000 gift filled shoeboxes from across Greater Manchester have been exported to vulnerable children in Belarus, Liberia, Romania, Serbia, Swaziland, Uganda, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

They were sent from processing centres in Horwich, Liverpool, Manchester and Wigan as part of Operation Christmas Child.

Greater Manchester Area Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, Martyn Catterall, said: “I would like to thank the volunteers at our local collection sites and all those who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift.

“We’re so grateful that despite the recession and the hardship everyone is feeling people have really gone the extra mile this year to pack shoeboxes with love and because of that we’ve been able to reach our 100 millionth shoebox.”

Samaritan’s Purse is now asking Bolton people to continue to make a difference to needy children around the world by supporting the 2013 Operation Christmas Child campaign.

For more information, visit operationchristmaschild.org.uk.