Narrandera shows Christmas spirit

It’s Christmas Box time again and the community are in full swing getting boxes ready to send overseas.

Schools, church groups and individuals have been putting their boxes together. These boxes are filled with school resources, toys, clothing, hygiene items and something to love and something special for them to treasure.

Boxes are divided by gender and are sorted into age groups of 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14 years.

“We used to put in something to eat,” said Glenys Walton, who has co-ordinated the Christmas Boxes in Narrandera for 17 years. “We’d put in lollipops, hard lollies. But then customs started checking the boxes and said that because the lollies didn’t have an expiry date, they couldn’t get in. Never mind that their people were eating rice filled with weevils, but anyway,” she said.

“Then they said we could put in something special, so we’d put in a little bag, a library bag. The little bags get used for so much. One little boy used to go and pick nuts to sell for his family and he’d carry them in his shirt. He was so excited for his little bag because it meant he could pick more and sell more for his family.

“Stories like that are why I haven’t retired yet!” Mrs Walton said.

A huge thank you goes to everyone who has supported the Christmas Boxes in the past, especially those who have been involved for many years.

The Christmas Boxes are made possible by a great group of volunteers who have been busy making clothing, library bags, marble bags and pencil cases all year. There has also been an amazing amount of items donated by many individuals and groups. Thanks especially to the staff at Bendigo Bank for their donation of pencils, pencil cases, bags and stickers.

“I always put in a tennis ball to play with and I always put in school stuff. I put two pens in a box one year and the little girl who got them was so excited to have them because it meant that she and her brother could go to school,” Mrs Walton said.

Last year just over 400 boxes from Narrandera, Leeton and surrounding areas were part of over 300,000 Aussie boxes that headed off to children as far away as Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, PNG and other Pacific Islands. These boxes full of gifts
went to children who may Narrandera shows Christmas spirit have never received a gift before. Often the children and their families are victims of poverty, war or disaster. This year the boxes will go to the same countries with Madagascar now being added to Australia’s recipient countries.

Boxes you have packed yourself can also be tracked online. To do this, just register the box/boxes online at www.operationchristmaschild.org.au and pay the processing cost to be given details on how to print your barcode and “follow your box”.

The due date for the finished boxes in Narrandera is Sunday October 29. Dropoff point is Narrandera Christian Books and Gifts, Bolton Street, Narrandera or collection can be arranged. Please contact Glenys Walton on 0428 593 401 for further information.

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