• Resthaven residents support underprivileged children this Christmas

    Resthaven residents support underprivileged children this Christmas

    Resthaven Bellevue Heights retirement living residents have commenced their annual ‘Operation Christmas Child’ project, packing boxes full of goodies ready to distribute to underprivileged children this Christmas.

    The project, part of international organisation, ‘Samaritan’s Purse,’ was introduced in 2013 by independent retirement living residents, Mr and Mrs June and Bob Heath. Over the years, their contribution has totalled an amazing 1,036 boxes for vulnerable children across the world.

    With June and Bob no longer able to be involved, fellow resident, Mrs Nadine Olafsen, is determined to keep the tradition going. She explains, ‘Each box has to fulfill three categories of items; health, education and play.’

    Operation Christmas Child items on table ready to be packed
    The packing process

    ‘Our group start collecting and knitting items in April, so that we can fill as may boxes as possible when it comes to packing day in October.’

    Kathy Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator of Samaritan’s Purse, says, ‘Resthaven Bellevue Heights retirement residents are wonderful contributors to Operation Christmas Child, and we are always in touch leading up to packing day so that we can bring along the shoeboxes, labels, and to also help make sure every box is packed correctly.’

    ‘The aim of the packing is to pick a boy or a girl, and then decide which age group, ranging from 2–4, 5–9 and 10–14.’

    Mrs Olafsen says, ‘This year we had the goal of filling 50 boxes, and we managed to fill 60! Thank goodness Kathy always brings extra boxes!’

    ‘It is a great initiative that we all look forward to each year, particularly when we receive photos of the children who receive their gifts … it is truly heart-warming and gives us all a bigger purpose.’

    Samaritan’s Purse encourages more helpers each year: ‘The more people involved, the more children we can help.’

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