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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Doing a bit to help...

On the last Friday of most months our parish has a morning tea at which everyone and anyone are welcome. Some of the ladies take the opportunity to cook the most calorie laden items possible, which balances out the cheese and crackers that I bring along! Some months we all bring along an item for a theme that has been set the month before...such as favourite china items, favourite poems, books etc. These are all designed to really get conversations going.
But having parishioners gather like this is always a perfect reason to get a 'few jobs done'.

So at our October morning tea we all pitched in and packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child which is run by Samaritans Purse. This task entailed packing gift items into shoe boxes and these would then be sent overseas to designated countries and distributed to needy children. In a previous morning tea we had brought along suitable items to start a stockpile for the boxes.

 Items for the boxes are based on 6 themes; something to wear, something to play with, something for school, something to love, something special, something for personal hygiene. Of course, different ages and boys and girls are catered for and the labels we place on the boxes show this.

Our parish contribution included not only filled shoeboxes, but also 3 bags of items that we couldn't fit into the boxes we had collected. Each box has to be accompanied by a $9 donation to cover costs of shipping. Again, generous parishioners donated more than enough to cover that cost.

There are those who feel that 'charity should begin at home' and frown on sending items overseas, but I know a number of people who have been doing Samaritans Purse for quite a while, so when our parish decided to become involved, it seemed perfectly natural. At the same time in the last few months of 2016, our parish collected toiletries and other items as gifts for the Mission to Seafarers gift giving program for any merchant seamen in the port of Brisbane in December. We also were collecting non perishable food for local charities to distribute. So all, in our small way, can help so many others.

At the November morning tea, before we sat down with our 'cuppas' we packed home baked biscuits (cookies) and slices ready for sale at our Christmas Craft markets the next day.

The tray of chocolate coconut slice that I made was packed in some boxes that we had left over from another function.

Throughout the year we save wide necked jars to pack the baking in and then decorate the jars a bit to make them look festive. 

In 2016 I made sure that I was available to help 'all day' at our Christmas Craft Market( really only 7.30am to 2pm), as our number of helpers is getting less each year as the older people move away...or pass away. Other years I've just done a few hours early in the day and then headed off to another commitment that I go to on the same Saturday every month. So I helped in the kitchen with the morning teas until 10 and then manned the parish stall until close of business...and it was fun.
The collage shows some of the stallholders at last year's market; most are regulars who book a table every year.
A view of the parish stall which I looked after. The big gap on the table was caused by the 'roaring trade ' I was doing with our home baking.

The parish made a nice profit from the market, so that was good!

I think we skip morning tea in January as it is around Australia Day, so February will be our first one for 2017.  


Nanna Chel said...

Good on you and the group, Maria. It is so nice to see everyone contribute. I'd watch those morning teas though :-)

Kate said...

I enjoyed your post, Maria. Using and decorating the wide mouthed jars for the baking is a brilliant idea!

angela said...

Well done ladies!
Charity where ever it's needed should be sent
Soon our knitting group will start again for the year and already I have a few things ready to go

Jackie said...

The schools I worked at always did Operation Christmas Child. The students loved putting together the boxes and I did as well.

God bless.

Cynthia said...

It's fun to see people in Australia doing boxes for Operation Christmas Child as my school in the US always contributed. I think it is a wonderful way to get children involved in charitable giving as they are creating a Christmas blessing for another child. And it looks like you grown ups had fun doing it as well!

Anonymous said...

Hi Maria what a wonderful effort from your church ,wish i lived closer to buy some of the homemade goodies,well done to you all xx

Susan said...

I must have a chat to you about what else you guys need - like wide neck jars - may as well go to you instead of recycling. And maybe Shoe boxes??

C U Sunday

Hilachas said...

What wonderful things your group is doing! I enjoyed reading your post.

margaret said...

how good all your ladies are giving so much time to make such a difference to people`s lives