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Global celebration of the holidays for Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad reaches far and wide to treat others these holidays

Global celebration of the holidays for Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad volunteers facilitate a day of gift giving in rural communities in Jamaica

TORONTO – December 6, 2017 – This month, Projects Abroad will celebrate the holiday season in the true spirit of generosity, through a host or organized activities at project placements around the world. Both staff and volunteers will be actively involved in making this festive season special for those in less advantaged circumstances. From joining children at care centres for a day of games, singing and dancing, collecting and distributing gifts to those less fortunate, to sharing in cultural traditions with new friends, this December will see smiles added to many faces through Projects Abroad initiatives.

In Cape Town, South Africa, Projects Abroad staff have already taken part in the Santa Shoebox Project. Staff members each pledged and donated a shoebox filled with age and gender-appropriate goodies such as items of clothing, toiletries, stationery, toys, and educational materials. A total of 28 boxes were collected at Projects Abroad's Global International Office, which will be distributed to schools around the city. "It was wonderful to do something together as the biggest Projects Abroad office in the world," says Bridget Stallkamp, staff member who organized the Santa Shoe Box donations. "It was a lot of fun to fill our boxes, knowing that down the line it would make someone's day."

Staff and volunteers in Fiji will spend a special day interacting with children at a day care centre where Projects Abroad's Care volunteers work. The day will be filled with singing, dancing, and enjoying treats together. Building up to this celebration, the children have been making decorations in their spare time, which they will get to put up for the occasion.

Every year, Projects Abroad volunteers and staff in Jamaica compete to see who can collect the most toys for children who live in rural communities, and this year is no different. The initiative, Operation Krismus Smile, annually sees more than 1,000 children receive toys to brighten their days and months ahead. "We will spend several days collecting and wrapping toys for hundreds of children. Handing out the gifts is always a huge highlight, and we can't wait for that day this year," says Kay Hendricks, staff member in Jamaica. Volunteers placed in Jamaica will also get to experience local traditions such as the Jonkonnu street parade, where they will sing and dance to live music played by bands of drums, rattles, fifes, and even bottles and graters.

Food is always an important part of holiday celebrations. Volunteers staying with their host families will get to enjoy traditional meals, such as the barbeques of South Africa (braai) and Argentina (asado), as well as popular meats like picanha in Bolivia, or their delicious bread – panetonne.

Projects Abroad's volunteers and staff take part in acts of service throughout the year on the many projects they run around the world. The holiday season, however, always provides opportunity to do something different and extra special, so that those who have limited access to opportunities can have a smile on their faces.

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