Cowra coordinator of Operation Christmas Child Jane Joyce-Doolan is going on a gift giving mission this weekend offering once in a lifetime aid to children in Fiji.
(min cost $8)
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Jane has been selected as part of a 10-person team that will distribute individual shoeboxes full to the brim with special gifts for young boys and girls of Fiji.
Jane, who works part-time at Cowra PCYC and Carinya, has been involved with Operation Christmas Child for the past 12 years and dedicates her passion for helping others to the satisfaction she gets from being involved.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting the locals, meeting the kids and seeing the impact the boxes have on them it’ll be awesome to see the reaction. I’m going to cry I’m going to need lots of tissues,” Jane said.
Operation Christmas Child is one of several programs operated by humanitarian aid organisation Samaritan’s Purse.
The program involves shoeboxes being packed with items common people would take for granted such as soap, a tooth brush, a face washer, pens, pencils, clothes, hats, toys, a hair brush and heaps more.
The shoeboxes are sorted, sent to various underdeveloped countries and then distributed on the ground by volunteers. For Jane, this marks only the second time she’s been out of the country and despite very little notice, she never hesitated in accepting the opportunity.
“This is a big thing for me. I’ve been out of the country once and that was 21 years ago. I’ve had to get ready in about two weeks. I’m all sorted,” Jane said.
Putting together the boxes is something Jane loves doing, she said, each including a picture book with a special poem she writes.
“I’m really good at poetry so I’ve done that because I love doing it and it’s something special, something they wouldn’t usually get.”
Jane encourages individuals and businesses in the community to get involved, donate goods or put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
Last year, between Australia and New Zealand about 11,000 boxes were distributed throughout the world. Remarkably 600 were packed out of Cowra – that’s almost one of every 18 boxes.
Jane flies out this Saturday, March 4 before heading back on March 12. For more information about Operation Christmas Child and to find out how you can get involved contact Jane on 63424997 or 0411812155 or Trish Cusack on 0438423873.
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