[Aiden Perrins | Contributing Writer]
On Wednesday 19th November students came together to help out with the Operation: Christmas Child wrap up, otherwise known as the Shoebox Appeal. Operation: Christmas Child is an appeal set up by the Christian charity, Samaritan’s Purse.The students assembled shoe-boxes from folding flat pieces of cardboard, following the instructions provided, and then wrapping up presents to put in them. The shoe-boxes will then get taken to a convenient drop-off point and then sent to less fortunate children all over the world.
There are different reasons that students want to be involved with the project. Committee member, Holly Parsons, said she likes to get involved because: “My brother was in hospital, for quite a while, when he was a young kid. I remember there was a man that came round dressed up as Santa and gave presents to all the little kids in the hospital ward. When I was looking at the student volunteering page, this was the one that meant the most to me”.
Whereas participant Lacey Puls simply said: “I love wrapping Christmas presents, I really love it”. But whatever the reason for volunteering, everyone who helps out with this great cause contributes to making a difference to a child’s festive season.
To raise the money for the presents, various fundraising events were held.
Masters student Ade Adesina, who has been in the Operation: Christmas Child committee for the previous three years, went into more detail: “We did a cake sale, a pub quiz, and we got Krispy Kreme donuts and sold them. We raised about 400 pounds”. To make it more impressive he then went on to add: “We didn’t start fundraising until about two weeks ago.”
Each shoebox costs approximately £3.30 to pack when the presents have been bought in bulk. They all contain at least a flannel, some soap, a toy, a pair of gloves or socks and some sweets. As well as this, the boxes contained some other bits and bobs such as bouncy balls, hairbrushes and hairbands, colouring books, pens and notepads. These sorts of gifts will be greatly appreciated in third world countries and will mean so much to the children and families receiving them.
Operation: Christmas Child was set up in 1990 by relief and development charity Samaritans Purse. Since then it has blossomed to now being the UK’s largest children’s Christmas appeal. Across the UK there are thousands of schools, churches, universities and other organisations getting involved with this project, and making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.
If you have missed the opportunity to build a shoebox you can still do it online. You can go to www.shoeboxworld.co.uk. Here you can build your own shoebox by dragging items you want to include into the box and then all you have to do is make a donation towards the items and the shipping cost. You too can make a difference in the life of a child.