4th December 2017

Christmas Care Packages For Soldiers All Wrapped Up From Newstead

Care packages at Newstead childcare centre

Christmas is just around the corner (we know, where did the year go?) and while many of us are winding down, the children at Guardian Early Learning Centre – Newstead have been very busy bundling up care packages for soldiers overseas.

Centre Manager Melissa Hunt says the idea came about after the children were discussing how different families and cultures spend Christmas and how they themselves spend Christmas. Mel found an article where you can post a care package to soldiers and thought this was a great idea so brought the article in and began to discuss it with the kindergarten children.

Care packages at Newstead childcare centre

Mel says the children had a lot of questions about why the soldiers couldn’t spend Christmas at home and then talked about how sending them a care package would help them have a much nicer Christmas. The children are learning that at a time when receiving is often at the front of people’s minds it is a wonderful thing to be able to give to others.

“A lot of our children are very interested in giving to others as we have a community connection with the Brisbane homeless and the children will often bring in items to donate so they understood about giving things to others,” comments Mel.

According to Mel there were a few restrictions as to what they could pack, so with this in mind Mel, the educators and children sat down and talked about what they would like to pack. Mel says, “Their first choice was fruit as they love their fruit and they thought fruit would make the soldiers happy but after discussing that the package had to travel a long way they soon decided that the fruit would spoil.”

Care packages at Newstead childcare centre

So instead of fresh fruit they came up with chips, biscuits, lollies, socks, bath soap, noodles and spaghetti. Mel also purchased some other items on the recommended list including shower gel, deodorant and canned soup.

And it wasn’t just an effort from the children at the centre. The families saw Newstead’s daily blog posts about the planning of the care packages and got involved by donating some things to send.

The older children drew pictures and the younger children made some dream catchers with a letter explaining what the dream catchers mean. Mel wrote a letter and placed it in the box on behalf of the educators, families and children. In the parcel they included self-addressed stamped envelopes so that the soldiers can write back to us if they choose.

Unfortunately the children were unable to send off the care packages themselves as the post office was too far away, so asked Mel to take it and post it on their behalf. We hope the packages make it to the soldiers safe and sound and bring a smile to their faces this Christmas!

Care packages at Newstead childcare centre

A Letter to the Soldiers from the Children

Dear Soldiers,

We heard that you might not make it home for Christmas, so we decided to send you a Christmas gift. Recently we have been working on making Dream Catchers to catch all our bad dreams, and we have sent you some and we hope they catch yours too.

Bad dreams, bad dreams go away
Good dreams, good dreams here to stay

We are aged 18 months to three years old, so making these took a lot of time and patience and we hope to soon write out names and create beautiful artwork for others to enjoy. Thank you for serving our country and for the sacrifices you make and we appreciate everything you do for us.

From the children at Guardian Early Learning, Newstead

Mel Hunt’s Care Package Letter

Dear Soldiers,

The children of this Guardian Early Learning Centre in Brisbane have packed this package especially for you for Christmas. The children wrote a list of what they thought you might like and then asked me (Melissa Hunt) to purchase the items for them (they were a little disappointed they couldn’t send fruit as they love fruit, but they decided it would spoil in the box).

The children each had a turn to pick an item that they wanted to put in the care package and packaged them ready for me to post off to you. They have also included a self-stamped addressed envelope so that if you have time you could write back to us.

On behalf of all the children, educators and families of Guardian Newstead, thank you for serving our country and we wish you a Merry Christmas.

Kind regards,
Melissa Hunt
Centre Manager
Guardian Early Learning Centre Newstead

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