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Fundraiser backs Melksham launch of shoebox appeal
The heights of Mount Kilimanjaro proved no match for one fundraiser, who climbed the tallest mountain in Africa for the Samaritan’s Purse appeal.
Beth Short was one of five climbers who scaled the 5.8km mountain to raise money for projects in Kenya, and was on hand at the Melksham Assembly Hall on Saturday to support the launch of the shoebox appeal.
The recently-qualified community nurse, who started her new job in Bath the day after she returned from the climb, travelled to Africa earlier this month where she witnessed firsthand the work done by the Samaritan’s Purse group.
The team first visited Kiberia, one of Nairobi’s largest slums, to witness the impact of the charity’s work.
She said: “They help develop and build businesses, so the people there can support their own families. It’s about helping them to help themselves.”
After seeing the work done in Kenya, the team travelled to Tanzania to climb the mountain, with all five of them making it to the summit.
Ms Short said: “It took blood, sweat and tears but we all made it. It was the hardest and most emotional thing I have ever done, and probably ever will. A few of the team were affected by altitude sickness, but we all made it to the top.”
Sponsorship money is still being collected following the climb, but the challenge has already raised more than £12,000 for the Samaritan’s Purse African appeal.
Experiencing the conditions in Nairobi made Ms Short realise how important the work of Operation Christmas Child is.
“Going to see the slums and how little they have there I am even more moved to be involved in the shoebox appeal. The boxes are for every child, as every child deserves to be happy.”