Students fill boxes of Christmas joy
How can a shoe box-sized present make a difference to a child in poverty?
Matamata Intermediate students have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in young children’s lives, by participating in Samaritans Purse, Operation Christmas Child project.
Samaritan’s Purse is a non-profit, Christian organisation providing emergency relief and development assistance to suffering people around the world.
The Operation Christmas Child boxes - the size of a shoe box - gets filled with particular items, such as a toy, sanitary item, stationary for school, a piece of clothing and is sent to countries where children are growing up in serious poverty.
For many children, this will be the first gift they have ever received.
The project was especially satisfying for students Rangimaria Turner, 13, and Mikayla Collings, 13.
‘‘I thought it was a good experience. It’s more the feeling of giving. We have had so many Christmas presents over the years and this is their first one. Just seeing their faces, their smile (on a video) was very pleasing,’’ says Mikayla.
‘‘It’s hard to imagine, some things our parents just give us. But they don’t have the money or privilege for their parents splurge out.’’
They both say they have since gained a greater understanding of children living in poverty and an appreciation for the things they do have.
Both girls filled a box for girls aged 5-7. Rangimaria says the boxes were very easy to fill.
‘‘I went for things that I enjoyed when I was little. Things that would keep them entertained.’’
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Mikayla Collings and Rangimaria Turner with the Operation Christmas Child boxes their school is donating.