AN AMMANFORD opticians is helping ensure that disadvantaged and vulnerable youngsters receive Christmas gifts this year by collecting shoe boxes filled with toys for the Operation Christmas Child appeal.

Staff at the Specsavers store on Quay Street are attempting to fill the shoe boxes for the global annual appeal, organised by charity Samaritan’s Purse.

Last year, the store filled over 70 shoeboxes and, with the help of the community, it hopes to repeat that success this year.

Sam Hodson, director of Specsavers Ammanford, said: “Following last year’s success, we’re hoping to emulate that this year, so it would be fantastic for people to support us in reaching our goal.”

People wanting to donate a box should specify whether theirs is intended for a boy or girl as well as an age category: two to four years old, five to nine, or ten to 14, which organisers say must be made clear on the outside packaging.

The boxes, which will be despatched to less fortunate children in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, can contain toys, sweets, letters and necessity items.

A donation of £2.50 for each box should also be made for the associated delivery costs that the charity is charged.

The closing date for all boxes and donations is on Sunday.

To donate a shoe box, please visit the Specsavers store.