This holiday season, join the ‘Box of Smiles’ project with your kids, creating and donating fun and educational boxes of gifts to benefit children in need in Chachoengsao province. It’s a simple project that can make a difference to both the recipients as well as your own child, imparting a sense of giving and the importance of charitable endeavours.
“I was introduced to a similar initiative when I was living in Hong Kong. I realised it was a very practical and useful tool to teach our children with the act of giving and gratitude and at the same time bring on a smile to another child,” explains Priya Gururaj, Creator of the project. “We loved putting the box together every year as a family. When we moved to Bangkok last year, I was looking for a similar program to be a part of, which I couldn’t find at that time. So I decided to start something on my own with support from my family and a group of friends and the idea multiplied and here we are with the Box of Smiles.”
The recipients of the boxes are from three institutions: Bann Nong Bua School, Bann Krabok Tia School and Tungsoahongsa School, all in Chacheongsao Province. The children largely belong to families where the parents earn daily wages working in the rice fields or factories. Around 25 to 30% of the children are with special needs. If Box of Smiles can collect more than 500 boxes, they will bring surplus boxes to a few other schools.
Priya adds, “Box of Smiles holds a vision of A Gift of a Smile from One Child to Another, and our mission is to Empower Children with a Heart of Giving to Make a Difference in this World. As a parent and a life and leadership coach, I find this a very empowering tool to teach children early on to feel grateful and add value to another child.”
How to Participate in Box of Smiles:
First, get an empty, medium-sized shoebox (approximately 20x30x15 cm) and wrap the lid and box separately with wrapping paper (or plain paper decorated by your child). Please do not wrap any individual items in the box or seal the box. Just secure the lid with a rubber band.
Download and print this label and affix it to the box lid, specifying whether the box is intended for a boy or a girl (or unisex) and the age range (2-5 years, 5-12 years or 12+).
- All items must be new
- Your box must include some essential items (toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, one new washcloth)
- Also, include at least 2 of each item from the following category:
- Toys – soft toy, doll, tennis ball, finger puppet, jigsaw, yoyo, small musical instrument, cars & trucks, playing cards, etc.
- Stationary – pens, pencils, sharpener, eraser, coloring book, notepad, chalk, pencil case, stickers, calculator, etc.
- Hygiene Items – hairbrush, comb, hairclips, toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap, washcloth, etc. (no liquids of any kind)
- Fun Items – make-up, hair accessories, cap, sun hat, sunglasses, bangles, watch, etc.
- No food, medicine, toys such as guns, soldiers and knives, clothing, liquids, anything made of glass or breakable materials (mirrors, marbles, etc.), and sharp and dangerous items such as scissors and razors.
Drop off your boxes from 13 to 17 November 2017 at the following places:
- NIST International School, Sukhumvit soi 15, from 7.30am to 8.30am
- Divine Yoga, 8th Floor of Home Place building, Thonglor
- Grand Mercure Asoke Residence, Sukhumvit soi 19 (c/o Priya Gururaj)
- Precious Learners World, 32 Sukhumvit soi 62, Yaek 1, Bangchak, from 8am to 4pm
- 2nd Floor of El Presidente, 94/2 Ari Samphan 1, Phaya Thai (c/o Shweta Singha Mahajan)
- Tower 4, S.V. City, Rama 3 Road (c/o Sunita Selvan)
For more information: Priya Gururaj, 093-545-0050 or [email protected]