In October, 2016 The Planet Humanity Project decided to take on a project named Operation Christmas Child Australia/New Zealand.
This is a project which is run every year by Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is a non-profit, Christian organisation providing emergency relief and development assistance to suffering people around the world. Samaritan’s Purse is meeting the physical needs of victims of war, famine, natural disaster, poverty and disease with the aim of demonstrating God’s love and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. The aid and assistance are given without regard to the race, creed, gender, religion, or ethnicity of the beneficiaries.
Operation Christmas Child is a project in which an individual, group, church, family, organization and more take part in the task of filling a shoe box with 6 or more special gifts in each box you must include something special, something warm, something to play with, something hygienic, something for school and something to wear. You are then able to place a $9 donation in the box to pay for shipping costs or you can track the box and see where it goes online. Pretty cool, isn’t it? But where do the boxes go you ask–While that is a mystery to everyone – some people know is that they filled a box with lots of goodies which will go to a country in poverty better yet it will be a young girl or boy’s very first Christmas present in their whole life! Isn’t that wonderful? The age groups you could choose from were 2-4 years, 5-9 years and 10-14 years old.
In the month of October we decided to order 25 boxes to fill and we put it out to friends and family to see who would like to take part in filling their shoe boxes to our delight, we had lots of interest so people came throughout the month to pick up boxes from our small garage office and drop off donations and stay around for a few small get together. It was a fantastic experience watching children get involved with filling boxes and writing notes for children on the other side of the world, watching adults delight in hospice shopping, new shopping or getting great gifts from habitat for humanity to be able to provide for children around the world living in poverty. Close friends of ours also dropped off a whole 3 boxes full of gifts the night before the boxes were going to be picked up.
Hear at head office as we sorted through each box we enjoyed the gifts everyone had placed in each one from coloring books, to pencil cases to spider-man toys and toy cars, face cloths and tooth brushes plus dolls and diaries and even a pair of gloves. There were so many different types of gifts placed in the boxes that it was absolutely overwhelming to go through to think a child in poverty on the other side of the world would be receiving one of these boxes for Christmas. And what a smile they will have when they open each box don’t you think?
I don’t usually post about my experience filling a box or any of my involvement in each case however in this case I would like to share that the first time I filled the first box I felt like the child chose me rather than me choosing which child the box would be given to – now I know that might sound crazy to you but for me when I stepped in our local hospice shop I was drawn to 6 special things 2 x rattle toys, a teddy bear, chalk, a book to read and a T-shirt to wear, and all of a sudden I knew my first box would be for a 2-4 year old baby boy oh how precious this box would be and how special to believe the child in fact chose me – the next box I made the same thing happened but this time the box was about a 5-9 year old boy it seems boy children seem to really like me. I managed to fill one box for $3.50 and the other for $8.00 – I then decided that well, I would track both boxes believing in the spirit of children I wanted to find out who these two boys were and where in the world would they be – now I will wait for when that email arrives on Christmas.
That’s not the only story that touched our hearts every single one did, but my older brothers also took part and one filled his boxes with hair brushes, something to play with, sunglasses and an awesome toy bird how cool is it that he did a boy too, then we realized my other older brother did two 10-14 year old boys he decided to give them his hand made medium sized toy muscle cars he made these when he was just 15 Himself and to think that the children that get these boxes might end up one day as engineers from such incredible gifts. Children and adults also filled up boxes (our friends and family) with some special pencil cases, dolls for girls, hygienic products and more plus a few bits and pieces that children would absolutely adore. The thoughts and processes everyone went through to fill each and every box has been a heart felt blessing.
In the next process as we put all the rubber bands around each box ready to be picked up the lovely Northland Regional Manager of New Zealand came early in the morning around 8am to pick up each and every single box and they are now sitting with Samiritan’s Purse New Zealand waiting to be processed and dispatched.
In December we will find out where some of our boxes have ended up in the world and be able to see which child received our boxes and just for the record as a team we filled 27 boxes in October for this cause.
4 boxes are going to a boy ages 10-14
3 boxes are going to a boy ages 2-3
3 boxes are going to a girl ages 2-4
7 boxes are going to a boy ages 5-9
7 boxes are going to a girl ages 5-9
3 boxes are going to a girl ages 10-14
Thanks to everyone we have covered every age group and 27 boxes will be going out to a child living in poverty for Christmas.
We would like to thank Operation Christmas Child Australia and New Zealand for organizing an amazing yearly cause, we would like to personally thank every single person that took part in filling boxes this October, 2016 as this has been an amazing journey and the support has been outstanding.
We look forward to taking part in this cause again in 2017.
If you would like more information on Operation Christmas Child Australia/New Zealand head over to this link: https://www.samaritanspurse.org.au/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
Or follow Operation Christmas Child Australia and New Zealand on facebook https://www.facebook.com/operationchristmaschild.anz/?fref=ts
Follow The Planet Humanity Project on Facebook via this link: https://www.facebook.com/theplanethumanityprojectofficial/
Written by Sheridan O’Donnell
All written contents rights reserved, 2016.