Christmas may be a good while away yet but when you're aiming to gift 1,500 children with shoeboxes full of goodies, you've got to start very early.
For the second time this year, volunteers from the Orange branch of the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child met to make, sort and prepare items for children in far-flung countries to receive in December 2021.
Around 20 people gave up their Saturdays to get started on the mammoth task that won't be finished until late October.
Organiser Robyn Hicks said people and donations were still needed to help the group meet its goal.
Nothing is wasted in the Christmas shoebox project; Bits of cloth are refashioned into everything from clothing and scrunchies for girls' hair, to school equipment and toys. Other items are mended and restored to their former glory for new owners.
"We use [everything] that's donated and put it together [to make other things] because it saves money and recycling is good for the environment," Ms Hicks said.
The group doesn't usually find out until July/August what countries will receive the gift boxes but in 2020 it was Malawi, Madagascar, Fiji and Cambodia.
The next working bee will be at Kenna Hall on Saturday, June 19.
For more information or to donate items, contact Robyn Hicks on 0427 653 431.
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