A Peterhead-based charity is preparing to send an urgent festive consignment to poverty-stricken Moldova.
Stella’s Voice is appealing for donations to fill an articulated lorry which will head for the former Soviet republic next month.
The organisation fights to protect the world’s most vulnerable youngsters, particularly orphans, from becoming the victims of human traffickers.
It supports homes and an orphanage in Moldova and helps the young victims through education via schooling, college or university - with the eventual aim of them becoming self-supporting.
Next month’s shipment is due to leave Peterhead around December 15 and is scheduled to arrive with the vital supplies in time for Christmas.
The charity is now seeking donations from throughout the North-east.
Its European director Mark Morgan, who is based in Peterhead, told the Buchanie: “Toileteries of any kind are great, also dried, packet and tinned food, clothing for children of all ages and sizes, particularly winter clothing at this time of year. All those sorts of donations are vital.
“We collect the aid, we pack it, we send it and we give it out over there.
“It’s never handed over to a third party to distribute on our behalf, so we know who it goes to.”
Stella’s Voice has another North-east centre in Aberdeen and will pick-up and accept donations from throughout the area.
Mark explained: “People can bring items to our shops or they can go on our website or call us.
“We have two vehicles out every day picking up stuff so we can collect across the City and Shire. There is no collection charge.
“More and more of our pick-ups are coming in online, rather than people calling us.”
The festive aid supply will be bound for the capital, Chisinau, where the charity is based on the outskirts.
Mark said: “It should be there about December 20 or 21st, possibly sooner, but we have to allow for things like weather conditions.”
The charity is asking for donated items to be put in a bag or box marked ‘Moldova’ and dropped off as arranged at Faith Acres, Inverugie, Peterhead, or 212 King Street, Aberdeen.
They can also call 0300 303 2520 or go to stellasvoice.org.uk/christmasappeal to arrange collection.