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Going the extra mile

Distributing the flat-packed Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and promotional material across this nation annually is a massive task on its own. If you add the logistics of bringing the shoeboxes in from regional Australia to the capital cities, you have a huge, expensive, and complex logistical problem on your hands. In some of our states and in New Zealand, we have had many donors spontaneously provide vehicles and huge numbers of volunteering hours to ease the financial and logistical burden.

In New South Wales (NSW), one of our most proactive volunteers and Network Coordinator, Ross Johnson, has surrounded himself with an amazing small army of volunteers, including Geoff Seaberg, Melissa Seaberg, Kirsty Georgans, Judi Sandilands, Roger Hassen, and Ern Brown with his team of nine co-drivers. Two vans were bought by a volunteer and most of the fuel was also paid for by volunteers.

One of our volunteers, Ern drove over 19,000kms during 2016 alone in one of the vehicles (That is a greater distance than circumnavigating the whole of Australia!), often setting off as early as 4am to get to distant regional NSW towns in time for a pick-up and to return home. Besides the cost of the vehicles, this team would have saved us over $50,000 in courier costs in 2016 alone.

We are very grateful to this team as well as every other team in the other states and New Zealand that contributed similarly in this way to reach more children with the Good News and Great Joy of an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

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