THOUGHTFUL PRESENTS: Hervey Bay Uniting Church members Thora Nolan and Helen Elsmore were packing shoeboxes full of gifts as part of Operation Christmas Child Project.
THOUGHTFUL PRESENTS: Hervey Bay Uniting Church members Thora Nolan and Helen Elsmore were packing shoeboxes full of gifts as part of Operation Christmas Child Project. Glen Porteous

Packing Christmas love and joy in a shoebox full of hope

THERE is so much love and hope for a child that can be packed into a shoe box.

Operation Christmas Child Project has commenced and Fraser Coast residents are being encouraged to pack a shoe box full of gifts for an overseas child.

Whether that child is a victim of poverty, natural disasters, famine, disease or war, this simple gift will bring hope and joy to the children who receive them.

Wide Bay Area Co-ordinator Julie Terry has been organising the project for the past 20 years said the kindness and generosity of people in this region has made a difference.

"The support for this project in our area has grown steadily over the years and last year a record number of 2610 boxes were donated from our region,” Julie said.

"This project provides and opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple hands-on ability to transform the lives of individual children, their families and whole communities.”

Terry has had the humble privilege of distributing the shoe boxes in Fiji, Vanuatu and Cambodia and see how much of a difference they make.

To make the difference, first collect a shoe box and brochure from one of the distribution centres, pack it according to child sex and age.

The box can have school supplies, a soft toy, soap, toothbrush, toys, games and clothing and $10 to pay for its postage and handling.

The project provides a stepping stone for the Samaritan Purse Organisation to put their Christian faith into action and help those in need.

For more information go to operationchristmaschild.org.au

Collection Centre's

Hervey Bay Baptist Church - Office Hours 9am to 3pm

Hervey Bay Uniting Church - Office Hours 9am to 12pm

Bayside Christian College - Office Hours 9am to 3pm

Maryborough Baptist Church - Office Hours 9am to 12pm