The national Rotary Shoebox Scheme provides packages for the unfortunate children and foster parents in the infamous orphanages of eastern Europe.
http://www.rotaryshoebox.org/ We provide empty boxes to 12 of our local schools and over the term they fill the boxes with articles for the children or their "carers/parents".
In addition Rotary clubs and Churches from our neighbouring District also complete shoeboxes
They include simple items as a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a soft toy, a notepad and pencil etc and then write their name on the outside and to whom it is intended, such as "Young girl" or "Old lady" since we try not to forget the elderly who care for many of these poor children.
The boxes are then collected by Rotarians and shipped direct to Eastern Europe where they are distributed by Rotarians, and charities known to Rotary e.g. Hope & Homes
We believe that in this way, with the guidance of their teachers, our children gain some appreciation of others who are severely deprived, many of which are also ill, and, as we approach Christmas we are all reminded of those less fortunate than ourselves.
The Chepstow & District Rotary Club has collected no less than 1000 filled shoeboxes this year and these will be loaded for despatch this coming week
Rotary wish to extend a big Thank You to all the local schools, churches and Rotary Clubs that have supported the shoebox appeal..
If you are interested in supporting Rotary with this and other worthwhile community projects simply visit chepstowrotary.org.uk for details.
On Saturday 02 December the Chepstow Rotary Club staged the annual Torchlight Carol Service at Tintern Abbey. This most popular family event is always well supported and this year over 475 attendedthe celebration.
Families started arriving from 4.30 and by 5pm the supporting Monmouth Rotarian marshals reported that the car parks were beginning to fill.
Families gathered in The Anchor pub where they warmed up prior to the event. After lighting their flaming torches and illuminating their light sticks the people formed a very, very long procession on the road adjacent to the Anchor Inn
At precisely 6pm the assembly, led by the Reverend Andrew Webster of Chepstow Methodist Church, slowly marched off, up the road. Once inside the Abbey grounds the column filed down the outside of the south wall on thiscool evening to the voices of theWyedean School Choirthat rose from within those ancient ruins.
The buzz of the crowd had changed entirely into a hushed reverence for the sounds and the sights ofour beautiful Tintern Abbey. Then, as people entered the main Abbey building in an unfamiliardirection through the east door, one heard the gasps of the children as they saw those ancient walls illuminated from within and the view of the choir assembled on the dais at the far end.
As this Christmas service was led by Reverend Webster, carols were sung withmuch energy, lessons read with passion and there was a genuine feeling of goodwill towards one another throughout.
Rotary PresidentDavid Burr thanked everyone for coming to the event and made an appeal for donations to Rotary charities that support causes in our own community.
He wished everyone a very happy Christmas. The service was closed by Reverend Webster after which the assembly exited the Abbey and dispersed into the darkness. The Christmas celebrations had certainly started well.
The event raised over £3,200 and after all expenses were paid, including programme printing, the flambes, light sticks and St John's Ambulance, the club was able to add over £2,100 to its charity fund.
In 2018 the Rotary Torchlight Carol Service will be held once again on the first 01 December 2018, commencing at 6pm.