Spread the love!
If you have small children at a kindergarten or primary school in Hong Kong then the chances are you may have already come across Box of Hope. This annual charity, now in its ninth year, is all about demonstrating to our children that they can make a real difference to the lives of less fortunate kids across Asia. We’re huge fans here at Sassy Mama and we’re proud to say we’ve done our bit over the years in highlighting to all our generous mamas and papas out there how they and their fams can get involved.
From collecting 1,200 boxes back in November 2008 to aiming for over 25,000 boxes this Autumn, Box of Hope has established its place in Hong Kong’s charity calendar. One hundred and forty one schools across the territory get involved and boxes are sent to charities working in eight countries across Asia. It’s a massive operation (just think about the logistics!) and could not be possible without a fantastic team of volunteers and corporate sponsors.
Children are asked to decorate and fill a box (an old shoebox is perfect) with items such as toys, toiletries or stationery, which are then distributed to children in need.
Read more: Send a Box of Hope to Children In Need
We think Box of Hope is such a special charity because not only is it local (set up by two expat mums) but it’s a real opportunity to demonstrate to children how direct action can really make a difference. Sometimes, it’s all too easy for our little ones to get caught up on a treadmill of activities, playdates and homework. It’s hard for them to appreciate that there are many kids out there who aren’t so lucky and unless we take our children to see it up close and personal at say, an orphanage, that message doesn’t really resonate. Of course we can talk to them about these issues, discuss and show them images on news sites and youtube – but how do we make it real?
It’s no coincidence of course, that the campaign runs at the same time that the holiday season is kicking off. Children understand the importance of gift giving and sharing, and they can make the connection between filling a Box of Hope and their own anticipation of the festive season. They get to choose what they put in their box and they can supplement it with a personal note or drawing. And some kiddos go to extraordinary lengths to ensure their box is special – just like the four children who organised a lemonade stand in their building so they had the funds to donate scores of filled boxes, each one lovingly packed and decorated. Hooray for those kiddos!
So come on, mamas! Please encourage your children to get involved. Dig out an old shoe box (we all have plenty!) and the glitter to decorate them. Take the children to a market and let them run amok with their pocket money choosing their gifts. Help them compose beautiful, heartfelt notes to the child who will receive it. It’s a powerful way to show your child that her/his contribution counts, and that it’s only through directly engaging with an issue that we can ever hope to make a real difference. It’s a great lesson to teach our kids.
That’s the true gift…