Fran Clark, 80, a grandmother from Bristol has become the talk of the town this Christmas season for her incredible generosity – spending the whole year filling 500 shoe boxes with Christmas goodies for the underprivileged!
According to The Independent, Fran first started this initiative four years ago in response to an advertisement in a Church magazine appealing for donations, but most of all she was feeling lonely having moved away from her children and grandchildren into a care facility, Brunelcare’s ABC Centre – “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,” said the doting grandmother.
What started out merely as a cure for boredom and loneliness soon became her way of making a difference during Christmas within her community. “I was given a room upstairs to work on the shoe boxes, and it has really helped me keep busy”.
Many may not be aware that Fran actually pays out of her own pocket for gifts to fill the shoe boxes sourced from charity shops and local groups. Goodies in each box range from toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, flannels) and books, colouring pencils and even dolls for children as well as clothes or dominoes or game cards for adults.
Over the years, Fran has received charitable contributions to keep her festive tradition alive. In fact, friends at the care facility even lend her a helping hand to source for gifts and wrap the boxes. As for the supply of shoe boxes, Fran is sure to make her weekly visit to Pavers, a shoe shop situated in The Galleries shopping mall in Bristol which donates more than 15 shoe boxes. “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!” said Pavers store manager William Jacob.
Every year during the Christmas season, charitable organisations drop by Brunelcare’s ABC Centre to collect Fran’s gift boxes for distribution to homeless shelters and children’s homes in Bristol.
We salute Grandma Fran for her generosity and going the extra mile to help those in need in her own special way!
*Featured image sourced from The Independent