At Christmas 1990, stories of the dire Romanian orphanages under Ceaușescu‘s dictatorship hit the news. Dave Cooke was moved by these stories and mobilised a team to ask the residents of Wrexham to donate Christmas gifts and materials to give to these children. This triggered a huge outpouring of generosity from the city who donated seven truckloads of shoeboxes filled with Christmas presents. The city gathered to see off the convoy of trucks driven by Dave and other volunteers to Romania. Operation Christmas Child was born.

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