KIND-hearted residents are being called upon to donate to an annual charity appeal which delivers Christmas presents to children living in poverty and hardship.

The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane’s Christmas Shoebox campaign begins on September 22, when the club will start to collect presents to deliver to children in countries including Montenegro, Albania, Moldova, the Philippines and Tanzania.

There are two ways to get involved – by either sponsoring a shoebox, which Rotary will fill, or by donating your own. Sponsorship of a shoebox costs £10 which covers the cost of the gifts and wrapping paper, and transportation costs.

A stall will be set up in Festival Place shopping centre, in Basingstoke, on Saturday in the middle of the Upper Level for people to sponsor a box. Alternatively, cheques can be sent to Rotary Shoebox Appeal 2012, c/o James Graydon, 34a Hill Road, Oakley, Basingstoke, RG23 7HS, made payable to ‘The Basingstoke Deane Trust Fund’.

Those wishing to fill a box themselves should cover a shoebox and lid separately with decorative paper, choose whether it will be for a boy or girl, and select one of the age categories of one to three, four to seven, eight to 11 and 12 to 15. The box can be filled with items such as learning toys, games, balls, jigsaws, modelling clay, sticky tape, writing or drawing paper, crayons, playing cards, small clothing items, toiletries such as soap or a hairbrush and books.

Please avoid food, liquids, sweets, swimwear, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet rolls, military type toys, sharp items, batteries, large items of clothing and anything breakable.

The box needs a label with the age and gender it is intended for, should be secured with a strong elastic band and include a £1 coin attached to the lid to help with transportation costs. The boxes need to be delivered by October 19 to either Alan Gibson Garage, A30, Old Basing, or Gazette Newspapers’ offices, in Pelton Road, Basingstoke. For more information, visit therotaryclubof|basingstokedeane.