Christmas has come early for grateful Zimbabwe orphans after they finally received gifts from Manchester residents, previously withheld by the government.
Beth Clarke, who set up #AHEART4MCR campaign following the arena attack in 2017, received handmade hearts from the orphaned children in May to commemorate the bombing in which 22 people lost their lives.
Heartened by the fact that these kids, who have barely one meal a day, still thought of Manchester, Beth wanted to return the favour.
She set about fundraising and, off the generous Mancunian spirit, was able to send many gifts to them as a thank you.
However, the government refused to release the parcels unless a license was provided for the TWO shopping bags in which they were sent, otherwise a fine of 9,000 dollars would be imposed or the goods would be destroyed.
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— Emma Downey (@_emmadowney_) November 21, 2019
After hearing of her plight an anonymous source agreed to help and the gifts were then released to the children.
Explaining how she had begun to write-off the notion that the orphans would receive their gifts after facing unrelenting hurdles from Customs, Beth said: “I can’t believe we actually did it!
“I was at work yesterday when I received news that Moses, who runs the orphanage with his wife Rofina, had collected the parcels from his local post office and I couldn’t speak.
“Seeing those kids’ faces on the photos and videos this morning has just erased all the stress from memory.
“To get the parcels released we had to write an official letter agreeing to the removal of two ‘offending bags’.
“What’s funny though is that you can see the two bags in the pictures so they didn’t take them out anyway after all that!”
Reunited with her own happiness after a rocky road and a month laden with stress, an ecstatic Beth added: “I’m absolutely thrilled that they got their gifts against all odds.
“Seeing how happy they all are puts things into perspective.
“We should all be much more grateful for what we have and never take it for granted!”