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Dec 24, 2012


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We've done this for years in Australia. Our denomination collects toys every year---we have a national appeal in partnership with one of the major retailers, plus we benefit from various other smaller appeals and collections. Years ago we'd receive them wrapped and we'd simply trust the label attached by the donor as to what the age and gender of the recipient should be.

This simply doesn't work---the gift may be inappropriate (or in a vanishingly small number of cases, mean. One poor child received a brick once) or the child might even already own that particular item. Siblings might receive wildly different gifts in terms of value and quality.

So we now unwrap the gifts and allow parents to come and choose appropriate gifts for their children. We've done it this way ever since I've been involved with the project (12 years?), and it works very well.

For the same reason, we try to give gift vouchers instead of food in kind as Christmas hampers. This is far less cost effective, but recipients prefer a small voucher to a large, inappropriate basket of food. And the labour saved... priceless!

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