2018 was our best year yet for the Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.
We started in 2010 with just 40 boxes. Last year, we'd grown this to 169, so we set ourselves the target to reach 200 this year. For the third year running, this has become something the whole village community gets behind. As well as our regular church family, many others across the area helped pack boxes to be sent off. We are grateful for the support of Kemsing Primary School, Dynes Road Drycleaners and Kemsing Library. Those 3 venues were happy to act as pick-up and drop-off points, where people could pick up an empty flat-packed shoebox and a leaflet, and then drop off the full boxes when they were done.
On Sunday 4th November, people brought the boxes to church, so we could receive them in. We took the opportunity to watch a video showing children receiving their boxes in Zimbabwe, and then we prayed for the children who would receive our boxes.
Last Friday, a volunteer from Operation Christmas Child brought a van to collect what we'd gathered. A few of our church folk came to help ferry the boxes to the van. When the final count came in, we'd managed to collect a record 211 boxes, a fantastic result.
Many thanks to everyone who joined us in this, whether filling several boxes, or contributing a few items to a box being done by a group in the village community. We've already made sure we've got a good supply of the flat empty boxes ready for next year. A few people like to chip away at this throughout the year, so if you'd like a box to do that just ask us.
Each of those boxes will go to a child who will be so grateful to receive it, and in the new year we'll hear where the boxes ended up.