Continuing Arden Anglican School’s tradition over recent years, the whole school community contributed items for the Operation Christmas Child’s (OCC) Christmas box appeal.
The aim of this appeal, organised by Samaritan’s Purse, is to bring the joy of Christmas to children in developing countries, many of whom will receive a Christmas gift for the first time.
The Junior School children were very excited to be involved in this year’s appeal. Arden’s Junior School OCC Co-ordinator, Mrs Karen Hopkins reported: “The Student Representative Council (SRC) were thrilled that the Junior School was able to donate 51 boxes full to the brim of items donated by Arden families from each year group.” She shared: “Packing the boxes is a hands-on and practical way the students can support children that are the same age as them living in poverty in countries overseas. The students enjoyed the process and felt it was a lot of fun arranging the boxes knowing that they were helping children who are less fortunate than themselves.”
Mrs Hopkins explained that each year group were allocated specific gifts to purchase for the box. “Each box contains something to wear, something to play with, something for school, something to love, something special and something to help children wash,” she said. So the Junior School community donations were allocated as follows: A children’s tooth brush and a bar of soap (Kindergarten), a small soft toy or doll (Year 1), small notebooks and lead pencils (Year 2), T-shirt, shirt or top (Year 3), tennis or other small ball (Year 4), face washer, comb or brush (Year 5) and coloured pencils (Year 6). The students also gave a gold coin donation on a school mufti day to raise money for the postage costs.
Members of the SRC led the packing in the library and reported that the children had great fun filling the boxes and imagining the delight of the children who will open the boxes at Christmas-time. Hannah Williams (Year 6) reflected: “Packing the Christmas boxes for the children made me so happy because I got to help children in need and it made me feel like I really made a difference in the world. I felt thankful for all the gifts and opportunities that I have because I see what these children have and feel grateful.
I really hope the children are happy when they receive the Christmas boxes and know that they are loved and cared for.”
Secondary School families also donated boxes. Additionally, 24 enthusiastic Year 9, 10 and 11 students helped at the Samaritan’s Purse Sydney warehouse for a day. Arden’s Secondary School OCC Co-ordinator, Mrs Karen Moss, shared: “The Social Justice group at Arden has been committed to the Operation Christmas Child initiative for many years now. Our visit to help the organisation process the thousands of boxes that arrive at the centre from around Sydney, is a natural extension of the commitment we have as a school to creating beautiful Christmas boxes for children in the Developing World. At the packing centre, we were reminded of the love and respect that must be extended to all the boxes that Samaritan’s Purse receives, and the students worked carefully and lovingly to ensure that the boxes they processed bring joy to the children receiving them in Madagascar and Cambodia. Watching them serve with such joy and commitment was a privilege to witness.”