The youngest in a family of nine children, Ionut has Down’s syndrome, requiring his mother to accompany him at the mainstream school which he attends.
With his father unable to secure permanent employment in their area, the family depends on social security payments from the Romanian government, which remain very low.
“These boxes of gifts mean so much to families in this situation,” says Blythswood’s chief executive, James Campbell. “Ionut’s mother was so happy that her boy had received a Christmas present.”
The first Blythswood Care Shoe Box Appeal took place in 1993, resulting in 300 boxes being delivered to Romania and Albania. This year the Highland-based charity has sent 121,474 boxes to eight countries in Europe and to Pakistan.
James Campbell added: “Donors and volunteers from Shetland to Cornwall make Blythswood’s Shoe Box Appeal a success year after year and bring joy to needy people of all ages. Thank you very much indeed.”