The thieves who stole Christmas

FIGHTING BACK: Chuwar Baptist Church Pastor Jay Beatty, mission co-ordinator Chris Fairhurst and administration support officer Alison Cornish with what is left of care packages stolen from the church.
FIGHTING BACK: Chuwar Baptist Church Pastor Jay Beatty, mission co-ordinator Chris Fairhurst and administration support officer Alison Cornish with what is left of care packages stolen from the church. Rob Williams

HEARTLESS thieves will not stop Chuwar Baptist Church parishioners from sending Christmas boxes of goodies to the world's needy.

Thieves who broke into the church building fled with 38 Christmas boxes that were filled with gifts to be sent to children in South East Asia and the South Pacific.

But the church is not going to let the thieves win.

On Saturday, October 5, they will meet at 9.30am at the church for a sausage sizzle and morning tea where people can drop in gifts to go in new boxes.

Mission co-ordinator Chris Fairhurst said the Christmas boxes, stolen last Thursday night, "were going to underprivileged children and they are the only Christmas presents that they receive virtually".

"We packed them early in the year in May because people tend to get busy at the end of the year," she said.

"They were stolen from our church building."

Ms Fairhurst said people could visit the website operationchristmaschild.org.au to find out what gifts were required for the boxes.

There are six things listed on the site that the children need such as something to love which might include a teddy bear, doll or soft toy. Another suggestion includes something to wear such as a t-shirt, cap or socks. Other suggestions "to light up the world of a child in need" include something for school, something to play with, something for personal hygiene and something special.

The church's program is part of Operation Christmas Child that started in the 1990s and has since delivered over 100 million of the boxes to needy children in over 130 countries.

The Australian chapter of the worldwide organisation will send 320,000 boxes to needy children in the region.

Schools, churches and other organisations in the region have taken part. Westside Christian College at Goodna puts together about 500 Christmas boxes.

The Chuwar Baptist Church will screen films that show the joy on the kids' faces when they open the gifts.



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