Kingsley girl leads the way on giving early Xmas gifts


Katie-Lee Bland, Victoria Hill and Hamish Holman with the Christmas boxes packed for children overseas.
Katie-Lee Bland, Victoria Hill and Hamish Holman with the Christmas boxes packed for children overseas.

THE excitement of Christmas is usually reserved for December but one 10-year-old is inspiring others to keep a giving mentality all year round.

Victoria Hill has led the charge at her Kingsley church for gift donations to fill about 250 shoeboxes that will be distributed to underprivileged children around the world.

Victoria first heard of the Samaritans Purse project Operation Christmas Child when she and her mum Renae helped a friend pack boxes last year.

That experience struck a chord and left her wondering how many boxes they could fill if everyone at her church, Kingsley Church of Christ, joined in.

“I thought we could pack even more boxes if we did it as a church community so I talked to Pastor Mike about what I thought we could do and he told me to get a slide show ready to show the whole church,” Victoria said.

That was in January, and even if it was “slightly terrifying” the first time using a microphone to appeal for donations of bathroom items such as toothbrushes and soap packs, the generosity stimulated by her callout was overwhelming.

Each month since, Victoria, Hamish Holman (7) and Katie-Lee Bland (10) have continued to ask their church for donations to meet a variety of needs for boys and girls, including school items, something to play with, something to love, something to wear and finally, something special.

The ‘something special’ items were hand-crafted teddy bears.

Church members helped pack the boxes on August 27 and they were taken to a warehouse in Balcatta, ready for a much bigger trip next month to countries in Asia or Africa.

“We know it takes a while to get there, that’s why it gets shipped in October,” Victoria said. “We started in January, which seemed funny at first but we just explained that all we were doing then was collecting items.”

Profound beyond his age, Hamish urged everyone to think about how they could help improve a child’s Christmas.

“I have a saying of ‘100 boxes, 100 happy blessed smiles’ so if more people do this, it means even more blessed smiles,” he said.

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