WORDS of admiration and support from shoebox donors brought tears to the eyes of RAF personnel serving in Afghanistan.

It comes after the latest batch of shoeboxes were sent out to soldiers, RAF personnel and sailors serving on the frontline.

RAF logistics officer Paul Merritt sent a message of thanks from Kandahar after receiving 24 boxes – one for each member of his flight.

He said: “The postal room was a little surprised but the reaction from every one of my team was so fantastic to see.

“There were smiles on their faces, laughter, many eyes welling up with tears as lots of notes within the boxes contained words full of admiration and support for the work we’re doing here.

“Each one of them read their letters intently and everyone duly wrote replies of thanks back to the senders.

“It was very clear that the emotions shown were not shown solely because of what was inside the boxes, useful and yummy as the contents were.

“But it was the fact that so many people of Dorset had taken the time to buy the items, spending their hard earned cash in the process and sending the comfort boxes to us.”

Officer Merritt said that for years he had complained that he and his colleagues were not receiving as many welfare boxes as they had during Gulf War operations in 1991.

He thanked the Dorset Echo and the Dorchester Comfort Box Appeal on behalf of all the service personnel in Kandahar for the continued support.

There is still time to get involved with the Treats for Troops campaign before the next send out at the end of October. Collection boxes placed around Dorchester and Weymouth to donate your goodies for the shoeboxes will be collected finally on Friday, October 16.

After this date the Dorchester Comfort Appeal will carry on the campaign and boxes can still be donated in the Echo offices.

*Do you know anyone who is serving in Afghanistan or Iraq and would like a shoebox? If so contact Miriam Phillips on 01305 830985 or send an email to miriam.phillips@dorsetecho.co.uk

How you can help

What to put in: Biscuits, wet wipes, fruity chewy sweets, small bottles of ketchup or barbecue sauce, tabasco sauce, Lucozade sachets, puzzle and crossword books, make-up products, chewing gum and mints, letters, travel games, packs of playing cards, pots of long life fruit in jelly, lip salve, coffee and cappuccino sachets, moisturising lotion, magazines, custard and rice pudding, long-life food, small packets of dried fruit, dried nuts, American hard gums, Calypso juices, variety cereal packs, foot gel or powder.

What not to put in: Chocolate, aerosols, alcohol, cans, perfumed soap, anything that is likely to melt, heavy items or batteries.

Please remember, that there is a weight restriction on the boxes of two kilos,

Collection bin locations

Weymouth: Dorset Echo headquarters, Granby Industrial Estate; Superdrug, New Bond Street; Asda, Newstead Road, Morrisons, Dorchester Road; WH Smith, St Mary Street; Boots, St. Mary Street; Value House, Wyke Regis; Wilkinsons, Westham Road; Rieker Shoes, St Thomas Street; Littlemoor Hardware; Tesco Express.

Dorchester: Dorset Echo, Antelope Walk; Dorset County Council, Collition Park; Superdrug, South Street; Wellworths, South Street; Tesco, Weymouth Avenue; WH Smiths, South Street; SCATS Countrystore; Mousetrap.

Bridport: Bridport News office, East Street.

Portland: Codfathers Fish & Chips; Hairstudio; George Inn.