Kilsby woman drives campaign to help ease plight of war victims with more overseas missions

Spreading smiles with Bags of Joy appeal

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 3:39 pm

A Kilsby woman and her partner are spreading smiles overseas with their campaign to help victims of war.

Sophie Abbott has collected and filled dozens of backpacks for Ukrainian refugee children.

Her partner, Simon Gee, delivererd the gifts to children staying at hotels in Poland, joined on a mini-bus by Andrea Brown.

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The appeal brings smiles to many faces.

Sophie and Andrea then visited an orphanage in Poland that opened its doors in March to donate more items.

She said: “The orphange was launched purely to home those that who were affected by the Ukraine war.

“Some children were fortunate enough to have mums and grandmothers, others not so lucky.”

Sophie said she has been “overwhelmed” by the support and kindness shown by people living in the Daventry District.

“The Bags of joy Project is achieving a goal of putting smiles on children’s faces,” she added.

“I'm so thankful to the support of the public. I cannot reiterate enough that if it wasn’t for the communities and people pulling together, this could not have been achieved.”

The fundraiser said people helped by the donations are so grateful.

Sophie went on: “The main thing they appreciated was how far we had travelled to support them. We were greeted at the entrance by so many hugs; they were waiting for us to arrive.

“The children were so happy to receive the backpacks and balls. It made the day-and-a-half-long trip so worthwhile.”

The team want to continue with the project, which has a Facebook page.

“Seeing the children’s reactions has made me feel more invested in making this project long-term,” added Sophie.

“The adults faces, although they displayed smiles, you could still see the sadness in their eyes. Also, we have started supporting those who are in the UK, knowing that they have travelled with limited items, by providing a Bag of Joy and toys as per our means.”

Sophie started off the appeal by filling bags with goodies including treats, sweets, bubbles and games.

"I’m sending anything that's positive and provides a pastime for these children who have left their homes with limited items,” she added.

Sophie is still collecting and is appealing for help with aid and more overseas trips are planned soon.

Visit Bags of Joy on Facebook or message Sophie Abbott.