Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shoeboxes

So... my estrangement from blogland has continued. But I cannot simply blame work, although that continues to be busy since we lost two people from the team to cover an urgent project elsewhere in the organisation (and are still expected to keep all the balls in the air!). Sure there are the usual never ending chores and the feeding and cleaning of my animal family but that's not just what has kept me away either. There have been two things that have kept me away. The first is organising things for the historical fencing club I am a member and administrator of. I have recently started a newsletter for the club and edited the first edition and am also organising a trip to an Armoury.

The second is that I have been filling shoe boxes. Every year, Operation Christmas Child, organised through Samaritans Purse send shoe boxes filled with little gifts to underprivileged children across the world. Children who would not otherwise receive anything for Christmas. Children who have very little of their own. I have been collecting bits and pieces all year and have managed to get enough things together to fill six shoe boxes (five of which are in the photo below). I also got the team at work involved and have been running things to raise money to buy more items and to cover the cost of sending the boxes. I hope to send 18 boxes this year.


The boxes are filled with the most basic of items. Things that are cheap to us, things that we take for granted like toothpaste and toothbrushes, combs, soap and flannels, pencils, gloves and woolley hats and scarves. Pens and other stationary (some of these children cannot go to school unless they have their own stationary), little toys like yo-yos, playing cards, soft toys and toy cars. Some boxes go to families so poor that they take the wrapping paper off the boxes and decorate their home (a shack in a slum) with it. They use the box and the rubber band that holds the lid on. Nothing is wasted.

Why do I do this for children I will never meet? The reason is quite selfish I'm afraid. I do it in memory of my niece who was killed last year. I spend the money I can no longer spend on her on these children because I wanted something good to come from something so sad. I do it because I had wonderful Christmases as a child and I find it sad that some children don't get a Christmas. I do it because it makes me feel good. And really, in the world we live in these days, what's so bad about that?

14 comments:

rashbre said...

Just watched the video and then found a nearby drop-point. A strong positive from these type of actions.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Nothing is bad about that, my dear. Nothing at all! It is ALL GOOD! I remembeer you doing this last year, too...I think it is FABULOUS!

You are one busy person, my dear Bob-Kat.....but it all sounds good. Even the things at work sound good, though certainly challenging!

I'm glad to know you are okay and that the things that are keeping you away from blogging are things that mean a lot to you!

Nikki-ann said...

A brilliant idea :)

kenju said...

That is such a wonderful thing to do, Bob-kat. I'm proud of you!

David said...

you SHOULD feel good, and it is so kind of you to work on this in your nieces memory. Good luck with the fencing.

Linda said...

it's not selfish at all...something to honor your niece is a wonderful thing. We were talking about this today, as a matter of fact! A friend of mine chooses to do Operation Christmas Child because she can give the gifts anonymously and doesn't have to see the face of the child getting it...she doesn't like rejection or strings attached to things, and has seen it too often...the disappointment in a face when they don't get what they want. I'd want to see the faces of these children, though...they are always happy to get something! I'll be doing a Christmas Child box as well as a World Hope Christmas bag for some kids....

Dianne said...

I love those little boxes

and I think you're wonderful!!

SheSue said...

The world would be a kinder place if there were more people like you. There is nothing more daring and selfless as giving to others.

Smiler said...

Wow, that's really touching. Brought tears to my eyes, truly. It sounds like a wonderful project. Something I might like to do too maybe. And a very healthy and positive way to deal with your grief. And like everything else you do, full of great intention and also immensely time consuming. Be easy on yourself. Stop apologizing for not doing enough. You're doing enough for five people! You make most of us look like a bunch of sloths (cute animals they are though). Be good to yourself. Do you take the time to congratulate yourself for all the good things you do? You should. I do: I congratulate you. You're an inspiration. You certainly never have to apologize to me. I'm just glad to know you're out there and to hear from you once in a while.

xx

R. Sherman said...

Samaritan's Purse is one of those charities I can wholeheartedly support. You know your money is going to something decent and not merely into the pockets of professional fundraisers.

Cheers.

Shephard said...

I love that you do this with the Christmas shoe boxes. I just love the whole idea of it. I hope you post photos of them all.
~S

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

That is one of the most incredible things to be involved with, Bob-kat. I'm going to send this link out to a bunch of folks I know and see if I can get anyone else involved.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Just coming by to check on how you are doing...! Hope you are not working to hard, my dear, and I hope you are having a bit of fun in your life, too...!

R. Sherman said...

Just checking in to make sure you're OK.

Cheers.