Readers of the Coventry Evening Telegraph have donated more than 15,000 articles of clothing in less than two months to help children in northern Uganda.
The Trinity Mirror daily (circulation 62,279) teamed up with Coventry-based charity Global Care to launch the appeal in June.
Instead of asking readers for cash, the paper invited them to send in practical items such clothes, toiletries and school materials to help children in the war-torn rural township of Soroti.
The response was dramatic and in 50 days readers had donated: ?? 5,053 boys’ T-shirts and shirts ?? 2,100 pairs of boys’ trousers and shorts ?? 5,552 girls’ blouses and T-shirts ?? 2,821 girls’ dresses and skirts ?? 1,400 pairs of shoes Other donations have included a football kit, balls and nets, 13 sewing machines and more than £2,000 in pound coins to help with shipping costs.
Sack-loads of items have been dropped off at the paper’s offices in Corporation Street before being transferred to a warehouse for sorting by volunteers. The donations are to be shipped to Uganda at the end of the month.
The aid will first be distributed to 200 children in the Global Care displaced persons camp before being handed out elsewhere in the region.
According to the Evening Telegraph, in Soroti more than 90,000 displaced people have been forced out of their Hard-hitting: the Press appeal villages and have witnessed their loved ones being raped, murdered or kidnapped as a result of the ongoing civil war.
Evening Telegraph editor Alan Kirby said: “The response has been truly fantastic. Time and time again our readers have shown their generosity and to come up with this amount of goods in such a short space of time, once again proves how giving the people of Coventry and Warwickshire are.
“We know that through Global Care, our readers’ donations will make a real difference to the lives of some very needy children and give them a brighter future.”
By Dominic Ponsford