Sunbury’s Errel Gray has 1600 empty shoeboxes to fill with essentials for disadvantaged children in parts of the Pacific – but she needs help.

The international relief initiative, Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse, distributes the boxes loaded with items of clothing, school supplies, toiletries, toys and accessories, to children in poverty-stricken countries.

Ms Gray said the initiative, which runs throughout October, has grown over the 12 years she has been involved.

“When I first started, we did about 200 boxes and now I’m filling 1000,” she said.

“These shoeboxes go the kids on the street and for some of them that’s all they will get this Christmas.

“In the Pacific, the governments can’t afford to give any assistance for the children like other more developed countries.

“That’s why this operation is so important.”

Interested residents can pick up an empty shoebox from Ms Gray starting October 1.

“When people sit down with your families this Christmas, we’d love for everyone to remember these children who won’t receive any gifts,” she said.

Details: 0423 779 224