The logistics behind an initiative like Box of Hope are enormous and at Ladies Circle we pledge, not only to donate complete Boxes of Hope, but also to help the ladies who organise the collection, checking, sorting and onwards shipment of boxes.
This year we gathered ladies together to help during 3 sessions joining others who kindly volunteered their time and energy. On arrival at the location in Central you find yourself simply in awe from the start at what it takes to make this such a successful initiative.
On the left we found a wall of boxes recently delivered and in need of checking, in the middle a vast table with enough space for maybe more than 30 volunteers at a time to check boxes....dotted around the table, extra items to fill boxes.....marker pens, elastic bands.......
On the far right, a wall of boxes checked and sorted into the age and gender category for onwards shipment.
Boxes need to be checked for a few reasons.....their may be strict customs regulations for the country the box would be sent to, some boxes are packed full with more than is asked for whereas others may be lacking a few of the items needed for a complete box. The aim is that all children receive roughly the same amount/quality of contents.
While we were there donations of soap, notebooks, pencils, balls etc kept arriving - news was out on Facebook we'd been short of supplies and the generosity of the local community was so heart warming.
After a 3 hour stint, we kept going. So hard to stop and we kept saying...."Just one more box"......for me, I was hopeful of finding the boxes my children put together.....I was excited to see a neighbours box - and what a delight it was too!
We did stop eventually and headed for a delicious and well earned lunch together. A perfect end to a really wonderful volunteering opportunity.