IN the lead-up to this year’s Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a huge garage and bake sale has been organised to kick-start fundraising efforts for children in need.
Held annually, OCC sends shoeboxes full of gifts for underprivileged children around the world.
Bathurst’s OCC organisers Faye Taylor, Lyn Fitch, Di Coleman and Lisa Limbrick are hoping that the upcoming garage and bake sale will allow them to send even more shoeboxes this year.
“We’ll be selling cakes and a large collection of brand new and pre-loved toys, crafts, household and garden items,” Ms Taylor said.
“There will also be information on how to pack a shoebox for anyone interested.”
Ms Limbrick was among the OCC group who helped distribute shoeboxes in Fiji last year, and said she saw first-hand the impact of the program.
“In many poverty-stricken countries, a shoebox is often the first gift a child ever receives,” she said.
Ms Limbrick said she was so moved by the poverty in Fiji that she travelled there again recently, this time with her husband, children, and her sister’s family.
“I wanted my family to see first-hand what it was like, especially after Cyclone Winston hit,” she said.
We might not be able to fix the problem, but we can at least try to raise awareness for those who live really struggle to make ends meet.
“We might not be able to fix the problem, but we can at least try to raise awareness for those who live really struggle to make ends meet.”
Many villages in Fiji were devastated by Cyclone Winston in February, 2016 but have only just begun to rebuild. Many locals shared their stories of heartbreak.
“Their crops were completely destroyed and the first harvest won’t happen until September this year,” Ms Limbrick said.
“It means that they have to buy food that they would normally grow themselves, and they have so little money as it is.
“A nurse or a teacher in Fiji only earns $2.20 an hour [$1.40 Australian]. They do it tough.”
Ms Limbrick said Operation Christmas Child reaches out to those in need thanks to the shoeboxes full of gifts.
“Shoeboxes are a ray of hope for the children and their families,” she said.
The garage and bake sale is on Saturday, May 20 from 8am to 12.30pm at 10 Blackwood Close, Trinity Heights.
All proceeds will be used for Operation Christmas Child. For further information please contact Faye Taylor on 0418 167 958.