A Sunbury volunteer is encouraging Sunbury and Macedon Ranges residents to help her spread Christmas cheer around the world.

For 10 years Errel Gray has been gathering shoe boxes full of supplies to send to disadvantaged children from some of the world’s poorest countries at Christmas time.

Ms Gray drives the international relief initiative Operation Christmas Child locally as the Macedon Ranges co-ordinator of Samaritan’s Purse.

“It is such a rewarding project,” she said. “Most of the children live on the street and don’t receive Christmas gifts.”

Ms Gray said that over the years the project has grown enormously in the area.

She said she began sending about 200 boxes and then last year exceeded the 1000 mark.

This year she hopes to meet the target of 1200 boxes – but she can’t do it without the community’s help.

Anyone interested in helping to spread the Christmas cheer can contribute items such as clothing, school supplies, toiletries, toys and accessories to fill a shoebox, plus $10 to ship the box overseas.

The project will run until the end of October.

To get involved call Errel on 0423 779 224.