MORE than 600 shoe boxes have been collected which will be sent to the poorest children in Transylvania, Belarus and the Ukraine in time for Christmas.

Schools, churches, and guides groups, as well as communities around Feckenham and Astwood Bank, amassed 352 of the boxes towards the total.

Children from Astwood Bank Primary School collected the most boxes, with 133 being collected.

Feckenham Church and the community collected 99 boxes.

A Saturday morning "bring, wrap and pack" at the gazebo at Callow Hill netted 50 boxes.

The Rev Gary Crellin, from Feckenham Church, said: "This is the second year that communities, not just churches, have come together to support children not that many flying hours away from us, but may need our unconditional love.

"Having been on last year's distribution trip to Bihor County in Romania, I know full well the life changing impact that a simple, filled and decorated box can have on children's lives.

"Money and time is tight for most of us, so well done for everyone who contributed and made such a lovely project so special this year."

The boxes will now to go to charity Teams4U before their 1,200 mile journey.