Operation Christmas Child
Each year our school likes to support the charity 'Operation Christmas Child', which is run by the charity, Samaritan's Purse. Everyone was asked to decorate a shoebox with Christmas paper and fill it with gifts, toys, sweets and clothing suitable for children. The boxes are transported all around the world and distributed to children in poorer countries, who wouldn't otherwise be able to receive a gift.
This year 3 of our children were invited to go along to the distribution centre to deliver the boxes and to see what happens to them before they are packed into crates and shipped across the world. On arrival at the distribution centre each box is checked to ensure that all the contents are suitable for transportation. For example if a box contains liquids or chocolates then these have to be removed, as they can melt or leak and damage the contents of all the other boxes, and an alternative item is put into the box. All this has to be done while maintaining what the children were told was, the integrity of each box. This meant that the items that were in each box had to remain, unless they were unsuitable, as this was what the people who had donated had given.
Our 3 volunteers helped, along with the army of regular volunteers, to inspect each box. Each box needed to contain similar items to ensure each child will receive similar things. Our children made sure each of the boxes they inspected contained, a cuddly toy, a ball or toy, stationery and some toiletries before sealing the boxes with a special customs seal and placing them in large boxes ready for transportation. It was a real privilege to see the generosity of people who had donated the boxes. Over 35,000 boxes were prepared for distribution from the Castle Point and Rochford area alone!
Being able to see the process made it much more meaningful to our children who were able to share what they had done in an assembly.