Operation Christmas Child Helping to Spread Festive Joy
Hundreds of community donated gifts will bring smiles to children and families throughout the Waimate District this Christmas, with Operation Christmas Child once again proving a huge success.
Launched as Mayoress Lyn Stringer’s initiative late last month, the call was put out to help families doing it tough this year, encouraging the community to donate gifts and get behind the cause.
Within days, the Council foyer began filling up and the generosity of the Waimate District was clear to see. Among the gifts were dozens of hand-made offerings, with businesses and locals clearly showing their creativity and commitment – and doing their part to help spread joy far and wide this Christmas.
Reflecting on the final haul, Lyn said she was overwhelmed with the overall response, praising the district for their collective efforts.
“This is the third year we’ve run this (the initiative), and it just seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year. Everything helps and once again, this has just been an incredible show of care and support from the wider Waimate District,” Lyn said.
“Quite honestly, it brought a tear or two to my eye . . . this is all about the kids and bringing some cheer to their day, so to everyone that has donated something for this cause, a sincere and massive thank you to you all – you’ve made all the difference.”
On receiving the donations, Waimate Salvation Army coordinator Alison Kitchin said she was delighted to see such an outpouring of community support throughout the district.
“It’s absolutely amazing and it will certainly make a lot of children and families very happy.
“There is such a great range of gift ideas from store brought, to vouchers, handmade and everything in between . . . there’s a lot of love and joy to go around.”
Alison and her team will now sort the gifts by gender, age and category, and will ensure all families in need receive something prior to Christmas Day.
Operation Christmas Child will return again in November 2021.
“I’ll keep running this initiative for as long as I’m able to . . . it’s something pretty special,” Lyn added.