Designer Travel is sending 200 festively decorated shoeboxes full of Christmas presents to underprivileged children in Mauritius.
The Lancashire agency whisked 40 agents off to the Indian Ocean island for its conference earlier this year and has since launched a Share the Love campaign to provide sustained charitable support rather than one-off donations to good causes.
It has started with the Mauritius Christmas Box appeal, which has seen the agency’s staff collect new clothes, toys, books, stationery and toiletries for Mauritian youngsters who would otherwise have no access to such items.
Some of the children will write letters of thanks in return and it is hoped that they will become pen pals with British children who helped put the shoeboxes together.
Karen Pocock, co-owner of the Bury-based agency, said: “In the UK we take so much for granted and for such a lucky society we do seem to moan quite a lot.
“Travel definitely broadens the mind. It exposes you to new cultures and encourages adventure – something many will never be able to experience. Our Share the Love campaign helps us to take some of the adventures into the homes of the shoebox recipients.”
Pocock added: “We love Christmas at Designer Travel. It’s a time for reflection, families, love and joy, and to remember that, ultimately, we are very lucky people to work in an industry where we get to share life dreams on a daily basis and, for many of us, we also get to travel the world.
“We know the shoebox concept is nothing new, but our intentions with this campaign are different.
“The aim was to put as many children in the UK in touch with children in Mauritius with an aspiration that maybe some life-long friendships may blossom.
“It is only when you wrap your own box or boxes and write the letter that you are reminded about the true meaning of Christmas.”
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