Operation Christmas Child kicks off for another year

TASMANIANS are urged to dig deep and give to those in need with the 2018 Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Appeal now underway.

Kicking off at the Citywide Function Centre in Mornington, the event saw the official packing of the first shoebox of the season.

“For many of the children living in poverty, the shoebox gift is often the first and only such gift they will receive in their lifetime,” Tasmanian OCC field ministry manager Kim Miller said.

“Because of the reality of their situation, a simple shoebox gift can have a profound effect on a child living in need, bringing joy and hope to their situation in addition to meeting basic clothing and hygiene needs.

“I am sincerely thankful for all of the support we receive to transform the life of a child through a simple shoebox gift.”

Local Member for Franklin Jacquie Petrusma was among those to help launch the appeal.

“Operation Christmas Child is a project which sees a shoe box filled with personal gifts sent to children overseas suffering from war, poverty, famine, disease and disaster,” she said.

“Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 157 million gift filled shoeboxes to disadvantaged children in more than 160 countries for 25 years now, making it the largest children’s Christmas Project in the world.”

Tasmanians are particularly generous in supporting Operation Christmas Child, with Tasmania’s per capita response to the project almost triple that of the rest of Australia and New Zealand.

Last year, Tasmanians sent 16,479 boxes to Cambodia and Thailand.

This year, the target for Tasmania is 18,000 gift boxes.

“This says to me that there are some very generous, giving Tasmanians who have tremendous compassion for those less fortunate,” Ms Petrusma said.

“I hope the 2018 Operation Christmas Child is again hugely successful and I encourage everyone who can support the cause to do so.”

To find out how you can donate, phone 1300 884 468 or visit www.operationchristmaschild.org.au.

Caption: From left, Alderman Debra Thurley, Operation Christmas Child field ministry manager Kim Miller and Member for Franklin Jacquie Petrusma at the launch of the 2018 appeal.