A SCHOOL in Stonehouse has given hope to 60 Romanian children this Christmas.

Pupils from Hopelands Preparatory School in Regent Street, Stonehouse, have been taking part in Operation Christmas Child, and have packed 60 shoeboxes with goodies that are now on their way to Eastern Europe.

"This is the third year we have supported the charity and each year more of our pupils want to get involved," said Hopelands teacher Jo Preece.

"My own children had so much fun packing the boxes.

"We had flannels, toothbrushes, a candy cane, stationary, a skipping rope, wind up cars, tennis balls and super bouncy balls all spread out on the lounge room floor.

"The children in my class also felt really proud to bring their boxes into school and took great pleasure in adding their donations to the mounting pile in the school office."

Operation Christmas Child is run by global charity The Samaritan's Purse.

Every year, the charity arranges for Christmas boxes to go to children across the world, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe.

"We had a whole school assembly and talked about Christmas being more than just about us," said Mrs Preece.

"We talked about how magical it would be to make someone else's Christmas half as special as ours.

'We're only a small school with less than 100 pupils but we're hoping our Christmas boxes will make a big difference to the children who receive them."

In 2012 more than 150,000 shoeboxes were sent to Romania by Operation Christmas Child.