All of us at Fifteen towers look forward the Christmas period, why wouldn’t we with office parties, secret santa and an actual holiday from work to look forward to! Then there’s the day itself, a fat juicy turkey, the now fashionable new Christmas jumper and lots of lovely family time to treasure. This year however, we were reminded that its not always such a wonderful time of year for everyone and that unfortunately the very people who should be able to celebrate the magic of Christmas the most, little children, sometimes don’t get that opportunity.
When Isabella Piddubriwnyj (yep, that’s Ollie’s daughter – you don’t get that surname twice in the same city!) brought home a letter from Larkfields Infant School saying they were taking part in Operation Christmas Child we at Fifteen couldn’t wait to get involved!
Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful initiative run by the Samaritans Purse. It involves filling an empty shoe box with gifts for a child of a chosen age, wrapping it and handing it over to be delivered to a child in need on Christmas day. It began way back in 1990 when a father of 4 Dave Cooke saw a TV report about a Romanian orphanage. This touched him so much he felt compelled to take action and began organising a collection of toys to send. Twenty three years and over one hundred million shoe boxes later Operation Christmas Child has touched the lives of so many children and given them that Christmas magic that every child deserves.
So… we contacted Larkfields and asked Mrs Bates who kindly offers to coordinate OCC on behalf of Larkfields, if we could donate fifteen boxes on behalf of fifteen design! The answer was a big fat YES so we sent Lofty and Michelle to hit the shops!
We decided to donate boxes to boys and girls over each of the age ranges filling them with as many treats as we could pack in! It’s such a nice feeling knowing fifteen could make a difference to even a small number of children and it’s really humbling when within the boxes we have to put not only teddies, books and toys but practical items such as flannels, toothbrushes and toothpaste. I for one cant imagine giving my child soap for Christmas and it really made us appreciate just how luck we are over here in the UK.
In all honesty, it became quite an emotional experience for all in the office but particularly Lofty and Michelle who organised it from the Fifteen end. Lofty shared her thoughts
“When it came to packing the shoeboxes we thought we’d get straight onto it as soon as we came back from shopping as we were really excited to see them done! I must admit, it got a bit emotional when we put some dolls into the girls boxes. Just thinking about how important these boxes are to the children who receive them is enough to bring a tear to your eye! It was lovely seeing all of the boxes ready to send away and is an absolute thrill to make a contribution that will mean the world to a child.”
So, all our boxes filled and wrapped we headed down to meet Isabella and her schoolmates at Larkfields. (Once we’d got over the shock of how tiny everything is in an infant school once you are all grown up!) We had the opportunity to meet with some of the other children who had donated their very own shoe boxes.
Michelle told us “We were so impressed with the amount of shoeboxes that the children at the school had prepared and lovingly wrapped, it was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into creating them. The children were so excited to have their photo taken with all the boxes and it was great to see their faces. They looked happy to be helping other children less fortunate than themselves across the world.”
Larkfields Infants School donated a grand total of 93 shoe boxes to Operation Christmas Child, thats 93 children who will have a christmas this year, what an amazing feeling that we at fifteen design were a small part of that.
Ollie said “I’m so proud of my team and thankful to our clients for putting Fifteen in a position where we can contribute to such worthy causes. We will definitely be getting behind OCC again next year!”
If you would like to join Fifteen Design in contributing to OCC in 2014 or you’d like to have a look at the phenomenal achievements the project has made so far check out their website www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk
And… check out Michelle and Lofty who had five minutes of fame when they made it into the paper!