The satisfying climax of ADRA-UK's annual Gift Box Appeal took place in February as thousands of Togolese children received their little presents. ADRA-UK representatives were unable to attend the distribution this year, but with ADRA Togo taking the lead, children attending a variety of impoverished schools across the country benefited from the lovingly pack gifts from our church members throughout the UK. ADRA Togo hope these momentary gifts will also have a more lasting effect by encouraging and emphasising the continuing need for education programmes across the country.
Not only were the gift boxes shared with Togo but also the day-to-day humanitarian work of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency was highlighted, as a variety of newspapers and television networks attended the opening ceremony for the distribution. They joined parents, government officials, the President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Togo, community chiefs and, most importantly, hundreds of grateful and expectant children. Pastor Komlavi Semenu Amegan, President of Seventh-day Adventist Church, remarked on the variety of goods that were in each box and how children's physical, social and educational needs were met by each present.
ADRA Togo also recorded a video of the initial distribution of the gift boxes.
The distribution of the gift boxes is just another way in which ADRA-UK's supporters are making lifelong changes around the world. The distribution is the official end of the Togo Gift Box Appeal and the staff at ADRA never cease to be amazed by the tireless effort, dedication and sacrifice made by those who fill boxes with not only necessities but the gifts that will really make children smile.
The team are always surprised and encouraged by the enthusiasm of thousands of volunteers – including many school children – across the British Isles. ADRA-UK CEO, Bert Smit, always finds himself quite moved by such a massive volunteer response. "I want to say a big thank you to everyone who packed, paid for and checked a box! It is such a rewarding feeling to be involved with the gift box appeal."
The destination for the 2015 ADRA Gift Box Appeal is not yet decided but be sure, working with the local churches ADRA-UK will continue to help and benefit thousands of children living on the edge of existence.