Sunday, 25 November 2012

Operation Christmas Child - catching up.

The last few weeks have been pretty full-on with our Operation Christmas Child activities. The checking centre in Maidenhead has been in full swing for two and a half weeks, and we still have quite a pile of  shoeboxes to check and pack.

Here are some recent images.

During half term week, we set up a display in my local library, which acts as a drop-off point for shoeboxes.
As a result, we had quite a bit of interest and over 200 shoeboxes donated here.


Our very first collection of boxes - 186 from St Andrews and St Lawrences Church and 6th Slough Brownies.

Boxes then started coming in thick and fast to the URC church in Maidenhead.... the checking of boxes got underway.

Boxes waiting to be checked, and shoebox 'fillers' waiting to be used.

We have many dedicated knitters who make things for us throughout the year. Esther on the right knits over 200 hats a year - so many that she has to bring them in a suitcase - in several batches. This was the first batch, being gratefully received by my fellow coordinator Maggie on the left.

We were warmly welcomed at Living Word International Church, where Maggie expressed our thanks for their donations and shoeboxes.

The mayoress came to visit us one day. Having had her own children involved in making shoeboxes,  she was very interested to see the rest of the process in action ...

... taking time to chat to all our helpers...

... and seeing both the checking of shoeboxes ...

... and also how they're packed into cartons for shipping.

The checking centre buzzes when it's in full swing.

Lots of shoebox collections have taken place over the last weeks, both in a van on loan from a local company...

... into which the children are delighed to help load the shoeboxes...

...and in private vehicles.

We had a group of young people from Great Holland Free Church in Bracknell helping out last week...

... both checking shoeboxes...

... and helping to cover them as well.

It was great to see so many youngsters getting involved.

To date we've checked and packed just over 5,000 shoeboxes, and have a few hundred more to go. Even if we fall short of last year's total, it's important to remember that every shoebox is special to the child that receives it and the message of love that it brings.

We couldn't do all this without the help of many hundreds of people throughout the area - drivers, checkers, packers, groups involving schools, churches, businesses and community groups.

Thank you all for your help!


  1. Wonderful to see everyone working together to bring joy to a child on Christmas. You all rock!

  2. I always think of you at this time of year Janet and know how busy you are but what a wonderful job you all do. Thank you so much for bringing joy to so many.


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