GIFTS GALORE: Faye and Chris Garrood and driver get ready to pack a delivery van full of Christmas boxes from the Eastern Bay, headed to Fiji. Photos supplied

IN small villages in Fiji, more than 360 children are receiving gifts sent by people from the Eastern Bay.

The gifts were sent via Samaritans Purse International Relief’s Operation Christmas Child.
Faye and Chris Garrood are the Eastern Bay co-ordinators for the operation that allows anyone to purchase a pre-printed box, fill it with gifts and have it delivered to a child somewhere in the world where children do not normally recieve Christmas gifts.

Boxes can go to Fiji, Cambodia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea, among other countries.
Faye says she received lots of enquiries after an article was published in the Eastern Bay Life in early October.

By the time the Labour Day deadline had come she had a large van-load of Christmas boxes ready to send up to the Auckland sorting centre.

TOY WORKSHOP: The sorting shed in Auckland where the Christmas boxes from around New Zealand are checked and packed into cartons ready for delivery.

Gaye says she and Chris travelled to Auckland to help with sorting the 22,000 boxes being sent from around New Zealand.

They have also been invited to take part in a “vision trip” to the Phillipines to make contact with villages that haven’t received presents yet to see if they are interested in taking part in the programme.

“We would really like to thank all of those people who gave gifts and also to Professionals, Rotary and churches who helped with the operation,” Faye says.