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Christmas comes twice for needy

The annual charity campaign, Twice Christmas, is underway again with participating organisations hoping to deliver around 70,000 packages to the needy.

The event – now in its 11th year – is run by the Swiss Red Cross together with the Swiss Post and swissinfo's parent company, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

The idea behind Twice Christmas is to redistribute unwanted or surplus gifts. About half are handed out to the needy in Switzerland and the other half to people in Belarus, Moldova and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The organisers say there is a particular need for food items with a long shelf life, toiletries including soap, shampoo and toothpaste, writing material for schoolchildren and new children's shoes.

For the first time this year, givers can avoid the hassle of trudging to the post office by going online and choosing a "package" worth between SFr10 and SFr50 ($9-$44).

The campaign runs until January 8, 2008.


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