Huge Success For Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child Great BaddowRecord Breaking Number of Shoeboxes Collected for Operation Christmas Child by Staff and Students at GBHS

Excellent news from our local secondary school – they have managed to fill 615 shoe boxes with Christmas presents for children!

Great Baddow High School has once again smashed its target for this year’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal with an amazing 615 boxes collected, wrapped and filled with gifts such as toys, pens, games and other goodies for under privileged children around the world.

It is far more than we could have imagined, nearly doubling last year’s total – the van driver this morning said he had never picked up so many boxes from a school! A huge thank you goes to everyone who has helped make this year so amazing.” Mrs Linda Williams, Senior Learning Support Assistant, GBHS

By starting to collect shoeboxes in January, receiving left over Comic Relief items from Sainsbury’s in March and carefully using money from summer plant sales sold to staff to buy lots of goodies for the boxes, the team of staff led by Learning Support Assistants Linda Williams, Amanda Burdon and Kerry Wicker have once again been able to enthuse and motivate staff and students to a record breaking collection of shoeboxes for this year’s campaign.

“The Operation Christmas Child motto for this year is #OneMillionShoeboxes and it really struck a chord with our students this year”

“We challenged the students to spend £1 on something for the shoeboxes rather than the chocolate bar that they might pop to the shops for on the way to/from school. Many more boxes were filled because they realised the value of what else that £1 could do to help another child living in poverty.”Mrs Amanda Burdon, Learning Support Assistant, GBHS

Mrs Linda Williams added, “We reminded everyone that like throwing a stranded starfish back into the water, they CAN make a difference to a child’s life and we’ve proven that by all working together to make over 600 number of boxes.”

Staff and students once again packed boxes individually and in tutor groups and two successful packing days were held on consecutive Saturday mornings where staff gave up their time to help fill shoeboxes warehouse style. Another group of National Citizen’s Service volunteers ran a shoebox packing project in conjunction with GBHS and their 60 boxes were added to the school’s final total.

What The School Children Said

Operation Christmas Child Great Baddow Girls“I received a leaflet about Operation Christmas Child from our tutor and I just wanted to take part in it as I have never done anything like this before. My friend and I put together 9 boxes and filled them with lots of school equipment such as pens, pencils rubbers and pencil cases. A picture cannot show how impressive it was to see all the shoeboxes stacked up taller than me and filled with gifts and presents – I will definitely do it again next year and help try and beat this year’s total.” Toby Griffin, Age 12, GBHS Student

 Operation Christmas Child Great Baddow boys “It was great to get involved in Operation Christmas Child as it helps children that are less fortunate than ourselves. Every Thursday lunchtime we packed and wrapped boxes and we even went into the shoe shops in Chelmsford to collect spare shoeboxes and bought packs of toothbrushes from the pound shops. We are already saving boxes for next year!” Chloe Johnson and Amy Crisp, Age 12, GBHS Student

“We made 16 boxes and filled them with stuffed toys, pencils and pens. Every Thursday lunchtime we wrapped boxes and sorted out what to put in them. It will make a lot of difference to children that are less fortunate than ourselves and makes you realize that we just take Christmas for granted and we should appreciate what we have more.” Katie Unsworth and Eve Graham, Age 12, GBHS Student

Donations from all around Chelmsford

The team also acknowledged support from lots of like-minded people around Chelmsford who have donated shoeboxes and toys for the children which they have spent time collecting and storing in preparation for the appeal.

“We have been very fortunate in the number of companies who have supported us this year.Sainsbury’s once again donated us left over Comic Relief items, Abercorn Nursery in Great Baddow sold us some winter woollen sets at a much reduced price and several national seed companies donated seeds earlier in the year towards the plant sales. Without their support the project would be much harder to put together.” Mrs Kerry Wicker, Learning Support Assistant

Taking over half an hour just to fill the van, students lined up to carry the hundreds of boxes into the collection van so they could be taken away to the warehouse for checking and processing and even at this point, people were still turning up with a few last minute boxes to add to the total.

The Area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child was absolutely delighted with the amount of boxes that were collected from the school,

“I would like to say how grateful the charity is for the shoeboxes donated by Great Baddow High School. 612 boxes is a fantastic total and will be added to the others we have at our warehouse for checking and processing before being exported to children in need in some other part of the world.

It has been my pleasure to journey to a Central Asian country and can tell you that the effect boxes have on children is immense. Most of the children I met had absolutely nothing. No toys, books and pitifully few personal items, living in very small houses with almost no furniture.  Very often their parents were in another country trying to find work and therefore only saw their children maybe once a year, sometimes less. The children were looked after by grandparents or other elderly family members.

These gifts of shoeboxes are given unconditionally and went to over a million children worldwide last year and the indications are that this year’s total will far exceed that of 2014.

The children of Great Baddow High School should be justifiably proud of themselves, and very happy about the joy they have brought to 612 children” Chris Giffin, Operation Christmas Child, Area Coordinator (Chelmsford)  

Mrs Williams concluded, “We are extremely lucky to have such a supportive team here at GBHS and everyone has recognised that there are many children in the world less fortunate than themselves. We look forward to hearing where our boxes go and know that we have helped make a difference.”

 Well done Great Baddow!

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