Shoebox gifts bring joy to kids in need
VERONICA Ohl has the ultimate children's goods collection. From toys, crafts, clothes and teddy bears - she has the lot.
But these toys are not for any child she knows - they are donated to the Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection.
This year she has donated 420 boxes to children in South-East Asia.
Ms Ohl has participated in the collection for the past 20 years.
"I started when my children were young because I wanted to teach them how to give," she said.
Each shoebox is worth $30, which includes $9 for postage.
She shops all year round for the best buys. There is even a small collection of presents for next year's shoeboxes.
"I am continuously shopping; whenever I see something on sale I'll grab it," Ms Ohl said.
But the boxes aren't filled without a little help from friends.
"After Christmas I was in Big W and the lady was marking things down ... I was quietly following her around," she said.
"Towards the end of it she said 'why are you doing this?'.
"I went back a third day and she had a big bag of things she bought to give to me."
Ms Ohl encouraged people to take part in Operation Christmas Child.
"If every family in Australia sent a shoebox, it would make a huge difference," she said.
"I just feel that I've made all these kids happy. I might not have changed their lives but I've made them happy for a while."
What goes in a shoebox?
- Something to love
- Something special
- Something for school
- Something to play with
- Something to wear
- Something for personal hygiene