Grandma Fills 500 Shoe Boxes With Christmas Presents For People In Need
A grandma has been nicknamed 'Mother Christmas' after spending all year creating 500 shoeboxes full of presents to give to the needy.
For an hour each day, 80-year-old Fran Clark makes and wraps the charity donations so that they can be delivered to those less fortunate.
This absolute legend gives herself a few weeks off over Christmas, then starts her project all over again in January for the year after.
Fran, from Bristol, decided to start making the boxes after she left her family to move to a care home, and started to feel lonely.
Now, however, by helping other people to have a better Christmas, she feels that she has a new purpose, and admits it keeps her 'busy'.
She first started making the boxes four years ago, when she saw an advert for a shoebox appeal in a magazine.
Fran, who has four grandchildren and one great-grandchild, started picking up items in charity shops and from local groups. Before she knew it, she was making hundreds of boxes each year.
She said: "My son used to live opposite me, so him and my grandchildren used to come over every day, but once I moved they couldn't visit me as often.
"I initially felt lonely, but then I saw an advertisement about a shoe box appeal in a church magazine and I thought it was a great idea.
"I was given a room upstairs to work on the shoe boxes, and it has really helped me keep busy."
The boxes have a mix of items, including essentials like soaps, flannels, toothpaste and a toothbrush.
Men and women will often get clothes in theirs, as well as toiletries and games such as a pack of cards or dominoes. Children get toys, dolls, books and colouring pencils.
It usually costs Fran about £5 to make each box and she uses her own money, as well as charity donations.
Friends and workers at her care home give her a hand to source the presents and wrap the boxes.
The shoe boxes themselves are donated to Fran by Pavers, a shoe shop in The Galleries in Bristol.
Staff put around 15 boxes to one side each week so that Fran can collect them on her weekly trip into the city on the bus.
Store manager William Jacob said: "Fran comes in regularly to collect shoe boxes and she always brightens up the day letting us know they're being used for a good cause!"
Charities collect the completed donations from Brunelcare's ABC Centre - where Fran lives - on a first come, first served basis.
The boxes are then given out to homeless shelters and children's organisations in the local area.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS