Brave couple Derek and Sandra Prater took on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. This is a huge achievement; Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 meters.
The trek was tough - especially due to wet weather for the first six days of their journey. Fortunately the team reached the top of the mountain without altitude sickness.
Derek recollects, “The Kilimanjaro trek was a personal challenge and has given us some great memories. It was also great to see how many of our generous sponsors were impressed by the work of Toybox and to know that the money raised will help Toybox support even more vulnerable kids.
The Toybox team would like to congratulate Derek and Linda on their achievements and for raising £1379 for the street children. Thank you and well done.
Berkhamsted School's fundraising extravaganza!
Berkhamsted School kindly chose to support Toybox through donations for their Non-Uniform day this year. For a personal donation, the children got to choose their Friday school outfit freely, and supported their peers in Latin America by doing so. Also, Toybox friendship bracelets were available to buy at school, so the students could add a bit of Latin American style to their wardrobe.
As part of preparations for their Non-Uniform - or Mufti day, Berkhamsted School invited Toybox speakers to do presentations for the students, to engage them in the work they as fundraisers and donors were participating in. They certainly were engaged! Berkhamsted School raised over £2,000 from their Mufti day - thank you so much for all your good efforts!
Tine, our Grants & Communications Assistant says, “I had a really good time presenting at Berkhamsted School, I am really pleased that the students were so enthusiastic about the work of Toybox.
Cycling the JoGLE
Andrew Hyde and his son Johnny cycled the length of Britain; from John O’ Groats to Lands’ End, a route also known as the JoGLE. This gruelling course passes through some of Britain’s most beautiful places and biggest cities.
Andrew says “For the record, we cycled 918.2 miles in 72.6 hours, with a total journey time of 97.7 hours over 12 days. We cycled through 20 counties and 10 major towns and cities. Total journey time includes all of our stops during the day: lunch, photos, rests, rain jackets on/off, directions, punctures and waiting for cattle to cross the road. The average speed was 12.65 mph and the maximum speed was 38.4 mph on a joyous descent in Scotland!”
Andrew adds, “It was a great experience and achievement for both of us and a precious time that we will treasure always.”
Well done Andrew and Johnny, your achievements are enviable. They have raised more than £850. Thank you, this will really make a difference to the vulnerable street children in Latin America.
If you feel inspired to take part in a cycling challenge, take a look at our Costa Rica Coast to Coast or London to Paris bike ride.
Running for Street Children
On the 2nd of September Andrea Boyd set out to run her biggest challenge, a half marathon at The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run. The event took place in Glasgow with a beautiful route around the city. Highlights of the route were Bellahouston Park, Pollock Country Park and over the River Clyde to the finish line.
During the week before the race Andrea faced a few unexpected hiccups. Andrea cut her foot on glass and had injured her back! However, she ploughed on, and finished the run in two hours and thirty three minutes. She says “From the 9th mile my left knee ached and my left foot was throbbing, but I kept running because I knew I was nearly there, and I was determined to cross the finishing line!! What an amazing feeling to cross that finishing line, I’m so pleased to have achieved my goal for Toybox.”
Andrea adds: “It's the most exhilarating feeling to know the help I've been given to raise money for Toybox will help change a few more children's lives in a very positive way forever!”
The fundraising target was £200 and Andrea has smashed her target and raised more than £396 to help the street children in Latin American – a great effort, thank you very much!
Cecelia Swims the British Channel
On the 1st of September Cecilia Fenner was given a fantastic opportunity to be on the Sevenoaks Swimming Club relay team to swim the British channel from Dover to France. This is an enormous challenge! Not only do you need the stamina to swim long distance; you also have to be able to swim with waves crashing against you and with an almost freezing temperature.
Cecelia says, "I was thrilled to be asked to take on this challenge and so pleased that all our months of training and especially the team work helped us to succeed. I know that Toybox will use the money I have raised to help make the lives of street children in Latin America, happier, healthier, safer and more fulfilled."
Well done to Cecelia, your huge achievement was equalled with a brilliant fundraising total of more than £600! This is 122% of her target, congratulations and thank you
Running for Street Children
On the 8th of July, five runners set out early on a cold and damp morning, to run the British 10K. Although the weather was miserable their spirits were high. The event took place a couple of weeks before the Olympics, which was brilliant timing, as the atmosphere was electric.
Our runners, John Eke, Anthony Heyns, Daniel Perez (pictured), Caroline Taylor, and Erjan Giritlioglu ran passed some iconic landmarks in the City of London - Wellington Arch, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace. The route continued along the Thames and back to Whitehall for the finish line. It was an extremely exciting and rewarding race around the buzzing and beautiful city.
Erjan Girilitoglu, one of our amazing runners, comments: “I was nervous before I started because I had never done a run like this before. I am glad I did it and to raise money for Toybox was an added bonus.”
Our runners raised more than £1000 to help the street children in Latin American – a great effort, thank you very much!
Stepping out for street children
The Ridgeway challenge is an 87 mile (169km) trek along the ancient trail starting at the Chiltern Hills and leading down through the North Wessex Downs. The challenge was taken up by the brave Adrian Gillott, Lissa Gillott, Christine Morris, Tom Goldsmith and Maggie Morris. The six day adventure took place at the beginning of June and raised £885 for Toybox.
Christine Morris who took part in the challenge says "It was an an amazing way to enjoy this stunning ancient trail while helping the street children!"
Taking on the Nightrider challenge
Eleven riders set out from Alexandra Palace at 1.00am on Sunday morning the 10th June and the same 11 cycled up the hill to where we started at 9.15am that same morning having cycled 108k round the streets and sights of London.
Whilst London slept the team cycled a 108k route past Tower Bridge, City of London, Canary Wharf, Hampstead Heath, London Zoo, Piccadilly Circus, British Museum, London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Royal Albert Hall, Battersea Power Station etc. This was an extremely exciting and rewarding journey around the beautiful sleeping city.
Our very own CEO, Andy Stockbridge, took part and comments “It was a great event and tremendous team Toybox adventure. And all fundraising for the children of Latin America. Thank you to everyone who took part for Toybox.”
More than £4000 was raised to help the street children in Latin American – a great effort, thank you very much!
Running to raise money
Charlotte and Charlie Nobbs have raised a staggering £2345.00 for the street children…and money is still coming in! The couple fundraised hard ahead of the Milton Keynes Marathon, which they ran on Sunday 29th April 2012.
They’ve been overwhelmed by the support of their friends, family and community who have given so generously. Some friends have even auctioned off items on Facebook and given the proceeds as sponsorship.
Charlotte says: “We live in a community who knows us and has been incredibly supportive of this cause, and it has been nothing but an honour to be sponsored and to raise money for such a great charity. What’s also thrilled us has been the whole experience of running a marathon, training together for it, and aiming for this event. We had such a sense of achievement and exhilaration to complete the race without stopping, and to finish within our target times in such awful conditions. At heart we love sport. It is wonderful that running could generate such a sense of fulfilment in us, but would also bless those so many miles away. We fundraised for the voiceless and the weak, to give them the start in life that we and our children have had. Thank you Toybox for letting us run for you, and be advocates of your amazing cause.”
A fantastic achievement – thank you both so much for all the money you’ve raised which will help change the world for many street children in Latin America!
Banquet for Street Children
On the 18th February 2012, Luton Pentecostal Church hosted a great evening fundraiser for Toybox. More than 30 people attended for a meal, a quiz and dancing.
Toybox volunteer Tony Gibbs, was also invited to give a presentation about our work, he says “My passion to share the work of Toybox comes from the continuing realisation, as I get older and through my involvement with Toybox, is that I have always been surrounded by caring people. So many millions in the world are not so fortunate and I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity and sense of purpose at this "advanced" stage of my life to serve Him this way.”
A fabulous £300 was raised – thank you so much to Luton Pentecostal Church, Tony Gibbs and all who attended the evening and are helping us change the world for Street Children.
Children from Aylesbury
A group of children from Aylesbury, ranging from 18 months to seven years, walked, waddled and ‘space-hooped’ their way to raising £85! Faith Rollins, who is child-minder to the children and organised the event, comments: “Each year we try to do some sort of fundraising activity to make the children more aware about the world around us and how blessed we are. I am so proud of all of them, especially their determination to raise the money for those less fortunate than ourselves.”
Thank you to all the children for their excellent effort and for helping us change the world for street children!
In September 2011, Toybox fan Steve Conn celebrated his 50th Birthday. Party guests enjoyed great music, lots of enthusiastic dancing and copious amounts of great food. A fun time was had by all! The thing that made Steve's party that extra bit special was that rather than giving presents, Steve asked his friends and family to make a donation to Toybox instead.
Steve's guests rose to the challenge superbly and they donated a brilliant £315 to bring hope and a future to street children! Steve showed our DVD 'A World With No Street Children', and guests leant a bit about the work of Toybox as well as having a great time.
Thanks to Steve's generosity, many more children and families in Latin America will find care and support through the Toybox-supported projects. Thank you Steve, you're awesome!
St Dominic's Sixth Form College
A team of twenty seven students and six staff from St Dominic's Sixth Form College abandoned home comforts to spend 24 hours living in a ‘slum’ built from old pallets, cardboard and plastic sheeting and without luxuries such as running water, mobile phones or make-up. 'Why would people do this?' you may ask - well, they did it to get a glimpse of what life is like for the one billion people worldwide who live in slums.
“It’s difficult to live as they do and we haven’t even done it properly!” said Sinead, 17. “It’s made me appreciate what I’ve got right now” added Chandini.
For many of the group it was the limited diet of bread, rice and vegetables that had the biggest impact. “I’ve never been so thankful for 2 slices of bread in my life” said Daniel. The normally energetic Kemi was subdued: “I was so hungry I didn’t care what I was eating. I think we take a lot for granted, like if we are hungry we can just go down to the shops to get food. ” she said.
The students and staff were all sponsored to take on this challenge and they ended up raising over £1200 for Toybox and the street children! What an amazing achievement!
Watch the video of the team building their slum
Well done to everyone at St Dominics - thanks to your hard work and fundraising, there are children in Latin America who can have hope and a future!
St Francis Church Youth Group
St Francis Church, in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire has been really busy... having fun! Their Family Fun Day which they held at the end of May was filled with laughter, music and a lot of hard work! The youth club washed cars, held a big jumble sale, and then sold tickets for a live music event with a BBQ.
The band, 'Ted Taizor and the Smokey Bears' were enjoyed by all, and the weather was perfect for the BBQ, not to mention helping dry the cars once they had been washed!
The proceeds of the fun day was split between Toybox and another charity working in Latin America, that's £540 for the street children!
Well done to everyone involved and thank you!
14th Medway Town Scout Troop
This month, we are getting down to ground level with the 14th Medway Town Scout Troop who have been learning lots about what it means to be street children.
The Troop, consisting of 17 Scouts, 1 Cub and 1 Explorer held a sponsored sleep-out in a Church car park to raise money, and learn about what life must be like for the street children. After doing a big litter pick around the local area, they built their own cardboard city to sleep in. It was a slightly chilly night, but nothing would deter these brave folk. Scout leader, Faye said, “They gained an idea of what it would be like to live out on the streets.”
The hard work, dedication and willingness of the Troop meant that they raised £406 for the street children! Well done to all the gang and thank you!
Broadwater Baptist Church
This month, we are recognising the achievements of Broadwater Baptist Church youth group - 'Chip Crew', from Worthing West Sussex, who prepared and performed an original nativity show called The Legacy. A modern-day retelling of the Christmas story with familiar show tunes, fabulous new lyrics and tremendous energy.
This exciting story was told using street dance, stomp rhythms, live music and an original script that brought the traditional characters bang up-to-date.
Directed and written by Angela and David Lawson with Sarah Jones, 'The Legacy' was performed in December as part of the Broadwater Christmas celebrations. The shepherds are depicted as mechanics, Gabriel is a ‘right-on dude’ and wise men become learned ladies. Conclusive proof that the Nativity rocks!
Including popular songs like 'Don't Stop Believing' and 'Summer Nights' as well as traditional carols like 'Away in a Manger', the show incorporated a modern day twist on the Nativity story, all to great effect.
The show raised an amazing £166 for the street children! Thanks to all at Broadwater and the Chip Crew gang. Through your hard work and generosity, we can reach out to more and more street children every year.
Rock Solid Club, Bembridge
On the Isle of Wight there are a group of yet-undiscovered superstars... They sing, they dance, they entertain - they are Rock Solid.
This amazing group of young people have been busy organising, putting on and taking part in a Talent Show - 'Rock Solid's Got Talent' - to raise money for the street children. The evening consisted of musical offerings, sketches and comic acts, and there were many homemade refreshments baked and brought in by the Rock Solid gang to raise even more money for the street children.
Lots of people came to support Rock Solid, tickets were sold on the door and many people wanted to know more about the work of Toybox and the children we support. Rock Solid Coordinator Helen says: "They all worked hard but had great fun! They felt they'd achieved something."
The Talent evening raised a whopping £400 - well done to all involved, wonderful stuff! Through the hard work of brilliant people like Rock Solid Club in Bembridge, we can reach more children on the streets of Latin America every year - to all the gang at Bembridge, Thank you!
5-13s at Highway Christian Church
The young people at Highway Christian Church have been really busy over the last few weeks learning about and raising money for the street children. Several of the gang coloured in some Christmas cards to send to their Child Ambassador and his friends in Guatemala, and they all watched a DVD about the work of Toybox and the plight of the children.
They had a big discussion about what they had seen in the DVD and they talked about how their lives compared with those of the street children. They were so impacted by what they had seen that they went outside and made some cardboard boxes their homes.
They were then 'moved on' by some adults - giving them a real flavour for what it must be like living on the street.
Sue Whiteley, Highway's Mission Coordinator said: "This event and the DVD had a great impact on the children who wanted to do something to help. One young boy decided immediately that he was going to pray for the three little girls we had seen on the DVD. The others all agreed that including the street children in their prayers was a good idea but they wanted to do more.
They suggested using money boxes to be filled with pocket money by forgoing sweets etc, having a bring and buy stall, bringing good quality toys and books they had grown out of to sell, and making cakes and biscuits themselves.
Two weeks later we saw great activity and a collection of £356 was raised. The children threw themselves in to the selling with such fervour I think we have some great auctioneers and politicians for the future!"
Thank you so much to all of the Highway 5-13s - you're all brilliant! They are: Ezekiel, Ellie, Nicole, Kayleigh, Fleur, Finley, Liam, Joe, Ben and Sam (and Claire, their youth worker!). £356 is an amazing amount to have raised, and because of all your hard work, more children will have the chance of a bright future. Well done!
During the summer, Toybox sent out some information to our supporters about our 'iDo' campaign, encouraging people to do some fundraising to support our work with street children in Latin America. Grace received the campaign, and decided to 'Do' something!
"When your leaflet came to me about doing something for street children I thought i would say I do for them." Grace says.
Grace is in fact a very talented artist, and so, using her skills and artistic flair, she organised a coffee morning, and an evening soiree where she sold many of her paintings and photos, all in aid of the street children.
Grace says: "It went really well in fact I had a coffee morning and then a drinks do in the evening. Lots of people came and quite a few bought things."
Grace raised an amazing £183! Thank you Grace!
Through the hard work and creativity of lovely people like Grace, we are able to continue growing and reaching out to more and more children on the streets of Latin America. Well done Grace!
Jacqui has been a Toybox supporter for many years, and last year went on an adventure with Latin Link to go and work in some of our projects out in Guatemala.
Having seen our work first hand and having met the children for herself, Jacqui decided to do something more. A few weeks ago, she organised and ran a brilliant barn dance and raised £40 for the street children! Thank you Jacqui!
It looks like a great time was had by all! There was plenty of do-se-do-ing, and swing-your-partner-ing, and lots of promenading, all to raise money and awareness for the children.
Thanks to the support of wonderful people like Jacqui, our work in Latin America can continue to grow, enabling us to reach more and more street children every year.
Well done Jacqui - yee ha!
6 year old Kiron Dutton is one of the most creative fundraisers we've ever had. Imagine a kitchen, and then imagine a big box of vegetables. Now picture a young boy with a keen imagination and a video camera, and you've got Kiron.
Inspired by the film 'Home Alone', Kiron has recreated the scenes, but rather than actors, he has been using vegetables as his main characters! Having created his masterpiece, Kiron then turned the house into a cinema, and asked lots of people to come and watch his film. They gave a donation to Toybox as an entry fee, and bingo - we have a superstar in the making!
Kiron raised a brilliant £21 for the street children - well done Mr Director!!
Kiron's Mum wrote to us about what he has been up to and she said this:
Kiron's first prayer when he was just three, went like this: I prayed "Please help all the boys and girls who don't have cosy beds, or clothes or food to eat, " and Kiron added "that they can have shirts and T-shirts, beds and necklaces and shoes..."
With the amazing help and prayers of people like Kiron, we will be able to reach more and more street children every year in Latin America. A big Toybox thank you to Kiron (and his star studded cast!).
Sutton Methodist Chapel Sunday School
The lovely team at Sutton Methodist Chapel have been creating yummy things in their kitchens, and organised a cake stall to raise money for the street children.
The stall was held on the last day of the summer term outside the local village school. Lots of people came to sample the scrummy cakes, cookies and other sugary delights, and the Sunday School team managed to raise a brilliant £51! That's quite a few slices of cake - well done guys!
The Sutton Methodist Chapel congregation all helped by making these tasty treats so it really was a big team effort.
Thanks to the help of great fundraisers like all at Sutton Methodist Chapel, we will be able to reach more and more street children across Latin America every year. Thank you guys!.
For most people, running a 10k can be quite a challenge. For some of us, the thought of putting ourselves through any sort of physical challenge brings us out in cold sweats. Now imagine running a 10k, but also imagine making it as hard and humiliating as possible. This is what David did. July 11th saw our very own Director of Advocacy, David Westwood running through the streets of London for the British 10k to raise money for the street children.
However, not content with simply running, David decided that to make sure he raised as much money as possible for the street children, he would run it in costume. So David prepared seven different costumes, each with a fundraising amount attached to it. As the money came in and the total rose, so the costumes became more and more extreme:
Needless to say, David's friends and family made sure that he reached the top target of £900 that saw him don the Wonder Woman outfit... Yes, you read it right - Wonder woman
David's total currently stands at over £1000 - well done David!
Without great fundraisers like David, we wouldn't be able to reach as many street children across Latin America. Thank you David, you're a very brave man...
Over the past few months, a group of brilliant young people from Aylesbury have been showing us the meaning of saving and have got together their own pennies and other change to give to the street children.
Thanks to the amazing and selfless saving of the Oaks Kidz, they have gathered a massive £90.32! Well done guys!
Here at the Toybox office, we had the privilege of welcoming Paige, Luke, another Luke and Chelsea who came to present us with the money on behalf of 25 members of the Oaks Kidz Sunday club. We had a great afternoon talking with them about street children and they enjoyed a mini-quiz focused on Latin America.
Laura Tindle, the group's childrens worker said: "We are so proud of the kids - they have shown a real desire to help children the same age as them but who don't have all the opportunities and privileges that they do."
Thanks to all of the Oaks Kidz club members - keep up the great work!
Heather Nicholls (and Pringle)
Over the last three months, Heather Nicholls and her dog, Pringle, have been walking more than 200 miles along the River Thames from the source near Cirencester to Southend – all in the name of street children in Latin America. Over 16 days spread over 4 months, Heather and Pringle walked an average of 14.4 miles each day - phew!
Heather’s walk was partly inspired by a book called ‘500 Mile Walkies’ by Mark Wallington in which Mark walks from Somerset to Dorset with a friend’s dog. But the thing that really galvanized her into action was a visit to Guatemala:
“I went to visit the project in Guatemala a couple of years ago and was really inspired by the work taking place there. It was so great to see that children are being rescued from the streets and helped to find better lives.”
Heather started her walk on 24th November 2009, and after many days of effort and hard work finally finished on the 28th March 2010. She has walked a total of an incredible 231 miles! So far, she has raised an amazing £1,429 - well done Heather!
Heather says “It has been like a lifetime in 16 days. I have had my ups and downs but there has always been support of various kinds to help me on my way and plenty of encouragements. I feel a great sense of achievement and am so thrilled to have raised so much money by doing this. I am so grateful to everyone who has donated. Many thanks.”
Thanks to amazing people like Heather, and brave dogs like Pringle, many children across Latin America are able to experience what it means to be cared for and loved. Thank you Heather.
The Milton Keynes Half Marathon Runners
Sunday 7th March saw the Milton Keynes Half Marathon. It was a lovely sunny day, perfect for a 13 mile run. 9 brave locals donned their running shoes and Toybox T-shirts and gave it all they've got for the street children.
The team were Dexter Brown, Hatun Bulut, Gordon Gillespie, Martin Josten, Johnathon Marshall, David Mulligan, Bill Penn, James Thomson and Roland White. All the team beat their personal targets and a good time was had by all.
Daniel Barbary was also due to run, but unfortunately couldn’t due to injury. However he was there in support!
Gordon Gillespie said “It’s great to be doing something to help out Toybox and the children of Latin America. It has been really good training with the team. Our group was known as the Pre-church Chuggers, because we went out for our training runs before church on a Sunday morning.”
The team are well on the way to raising £1,000 each for Toybox, which will make for a fantastic £10,000 for the street children - Well done guys! If you would like to sponsor the team, you can do so here
Without the amazing effort and passion of people like Dexter, Hatun, Gordon, Martin, Johnathon, David, Bill, James and Roland, we wouldn't be able to provide hope and support for children out in Latin America, thank you.
Paul and Barbara Sylvester
Paul & Barbara Sylvester along with Mutley the dog and friends Jean and Lee took to Fargate shopping centre in Sheffield to raise awareness and make some noise about the street children in Latin America!
The day was a great success as they spoke to passers by about Toybox and the work we do with street children in Guatemala, Bolivia and Peru. Michael’s story (read more here) was given out and shared with many people, as well as sweets for the children passing by.
Thanks to their charm, hard work and bright pink t-shirts, Paul and Babs managed to raise a massive £70! Well done!
Babs comments “It went GREAT!!! Mutley went down a treat, not only with the kids but he also got several hugs from teenagers. They wanted pictures on their mobiles - so we 'suggested' a 50p donation in exchange for a hug from Mutley. They agreed!!”
Many thanks to Paul & Barbara who did a fantastic job in organising this event – well done! Without the hard work of wonderful people like Paul and Babs, Toybox wouldn't be able to reach as many children, so keep it up guys, you're doing a great job. Together we can work towards a world with no street children!
Thank you Paul and Babs!
12 year old Amy Barnett from Bovey Tracey, Devon, has been working away creating beautiful jewellery which she has sold to raise money for the work of Toybox with street children in Latin America!
She held her stall as part of her Church craft fair at the end of November and raised an amazing £66.44! Well done Amy!
Amy and her Mum, Anne, were keen to raise awareness about the plight of street children and so they gave out lots of flyers and information about the work of Toybox.
Amy wants to make sure everybody knows about the street children, and by selling her jewellery and by telling people about the situations of children on the streets in Latin America, Amy is helping bring about real change.
It is through the generosity and willingness of people like Amy that we are able to reach more children on the streets every year, offering them love, care and the chance of a brighter future.
Thank you Amy!
Holy Trinity Ripon Young People
Holy Trinity Ripon have had an amazing year - since October 2008 they have held no less than 10 different fundraising events, and have raised a whopping £1700!!
The Church's young people have been learning about Toybox and even have a Toybox info board!
From toddlers to teenagers, all the gang at Holy Trinity Ripon have been busy raising awareness and vital funds for the street children.
The most recent event was organised and put on by the Exodus youth group - A Latin American Meal. The young people waited on their guests and made sure they were entertained. There was a Pinata game put on by some very impressive hairy-lipped ladies, and the tables were decked out to look truly opulent. The team served more than 50 guests and created all the food themselves. Amongst other things on the menu were ‘belly pork in chocolate sauce’ and tortillas.
These are the great events that HTR have held:
Phew! What an amazing list - sounds like they had a lot of fun!
- A performance of a church-written musical, Let My People Go
- Biscuit Baking (the toddler to 5 year old group - the Scramblers!)
- A Bring and Buy Sale
- A Cake Stall
- Christmas Craft Day
- A Mile of Pennies
- A Coffee Morning and Sale of Recycled Christmas Gifts
- Personal Donation by individual young people (pocket money giving)
- Making and selling friendship bracelets
- A Latin American Meal with entertainment (Exodus youth group)
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of groups like Exodus and Scramblers and all the young people at HTR, Toybox is able to reach more children on the streets of Latin America, offering them food, shelter, comfort and above all, love and friendship.
Well done to all at HTR - we look forward to your next amazing event! There are rumours of a big Talent show in the New Year - Trinity's Got Talent, so if you're around the Ripon area, do get in touch with Holy Trinity to find out more!
Thank you to all at Holy Trinity Ripon!
Jenny recently celebrated her 12th Birthday and held a Toybox 'Banquet for a Street Child' as part of the festivities! Jenny said it was "a tea party with a twist."
All the guests came wearing very bright colours to reflect the colours in the Toybox logo and everyone was given their own personal 'challenge'. Jenny says "mine was to skip everywhere and to say 'hedgehog' (my favourite animal) three times each time someone said the word Toybox. Someone else's challenge was to dance like a lunatic every time some one said the word 'sun', 'rain' or 'Thursday', which everyone exercised quite a lot."
Each of the challenges was rewarded with a sweet if carried out successfully. The sweets remaining at the end of the party were allocated 50p each by Jenny's Mum, raising a total of £11. The girls watched the Toybox DVD to learn a bit about street children, and many party games were played.
Party food was the order of the day, with carrot and cucumber sticks, hula-hoops, animal biscuits, bread with chocolate spread, peanut butter and jam. The girls also had some Latin American empanadas for a bit of extra Latin flavour. Jenny's cake (pictured left) was a wonderful Toybox cake, even with pink Toybox icing. Yummy!
Through the party games and festivities, Jenny and her friends raised £51! Jenny also asked her friends and family for donations to Toybox as a birthday gift instead of presents, all of which added up to an amazing £171!!
Jenny says: "I will continue to support Toybox as it is one of my favourite charities." Thanks to lovely people like Jenny and her family, more children out on the streets in Latin America will be able to have a safe place to stay with people to love and care for them.
Amy and Lois Roulson
Picture a house full of 14 girls - young, excited and ready to get pampered! Well, this was the situation in the Roulson household one sunny afternoon this summer. Amy and Lois organised a 'pamper party' - they painted tatoos, they did eachothers nails, they had their hair done - everything you can think of to feel utterly beautified. The girls also held a 'funky fruit on a plate' competetion - the most original idea won a prize. 'Mango Man' turned out to be the winner!
Amy and Lois's Mum, Helen made little boxes from recycled cards which each girl was given as a little keepsake from the afternoon, and she also made some cookies which were enjoyed by all. Amy says: "My school friends came, so did my Church girls. I hope this helps street children!"
Everyone had a great day and Grandma and Daddy gave some extra pennies to help out. There was a Toybox DVD running throughout the day so that the girls knew what their money was going towards.
Amy, Lois and friends raised a brilliant £28 to help rescue more street children in Latin America. Helen says: "We feel really happy that just a few pounds helps the cause"
Sam has been getting on his bike for the street children! What Sam has achieved, many people wouldn't even consider doing - Sam rose to the challenge of cycling 185 miles in only two days!
To start with, he cycled a mere 70 miles from Doncaster to Hull, but then jumped on a ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge and rode another 115 miles all the way to Haacht in Belgium as part of a school sports exchange - all in the space of two days!
Having heard about Toybox at his Church youth group, Sam decided that he would cycle 185 to raise money to help the street children of Latin America. What an amazing thing to do! Sam has managed to raise a massive £1000 - brilliant!
Without the effort, care and sheer will-power of people like Sam, Toybox wouldn't be able to change the lives of children living and working on the streets in Latin America, so thank you Sam, and keep on pedalling!
Turre Evangelical Church, Almeria, Spain
One of the congregation of Turre Evangelical Church, David Hay, has been a life-long Elvis fan. As many of us can appreciate, being 'all shook up' by Elvis Presley is a life-long passion, one which David and the team at Turre have had lots of fun with recently.
David performs his own 'Tribute to Elvis' show in local bars and restaurants, so it did not take very much persuasion from the church leaders to get him to stage a fundraising night for Toybox at the Kimrick restaurant in nearby Mojacar village.
The venue was offered free of charge by restaurant owners John and Carol, who also provided a buffet at cost price and threw in a meal for two as the raffle's 'star prize'.
The evening raised 250 euros which was matched by Turre Church resulting in a grand total of 500 euros for Toybox - that's £425!
A massive thank you to David, Marianne and Bob Wallbridge and all at Turre Church - thanks to you guys, it's "one for the money, two for the street, three for the kids and a Toybox treat, so don't you step on my blue suede shoes..."
Thanku vry muuuuch...
Kathryn is from Harrogate, Yorkshire, and has been a Toybox nut for almost 3 years. Having encountered street children at New Wine 2006, Kathryn was captivated by their stories and from then was 100% determined that she was going to do something about it! And boy did she do something...
Kathryn first started by sending in 10% of any money she earned or received to help the street children. But that wasn't enough for her... She then held an Expresso party at her home with her friends (read more about Expresso here), but that still wasn't enough! 'Kourageous' Kathryn then persuaded her parents to let her hold a big Toybox stall which she filled with the Toybox handicrafts and sold them to her school friends, people at Church, her neighbours - anyone who she could find to tell about Toybox and the plight of street children. Since then, she has done stalls at many other places and with lots of new people, earning herself the name 'The Toybox Girl'!
Kathryn even managed to sell a very bright stripey woolly hat to her head teacher!! Kathryn says: "He didn’t buy one from the stall, but half way through my next lesson, (art), he came in and said very loudly, ‘Kathryn! I want to buy a hat! I want the stripy one! How much is it?’, so in the middle of an art lesson, I had to go to get my box of Toybox stuff and sold him a hat - he put it on and said, ‘How do I look?’ and the whole class burst out laughing!"
Kathryn is thinking about getting involved in Missionary work in Latin America, and so, being a girl who never does things by half, she has started learning Spanish at school. "I asked if it was possible for me to join the Spanish class, but was told definitely not because they were a year ahead of me, but I explained my reasoning and the teacher promised to speak to the head of the languages department about it. She got back to me a week later saying I could join the class if I caught up in the summer holidays." So guess what Kathryn did? Yes, that's right - she knuckled down, worked her socks off and managed to learn all of the year 8 Spanish during her holidays!! She found a tutor through some friends at Church, has joined the Spanish club at school and is now doing GCSE Spanish with a trip to Salamanca with her school next month. Is there no stopping this girl??!
Kathryn has raised over £400 for Toybox and is planning more events in the near future. Her final thoughts seem to sum up her enthusiasm and willingness:
"Next year I’ll be leading the CU at school, even though I’ll be one of the youngest members. What a privilege it is to be given the opportunity to serve God in this way!! Anyway enough about me, what are YOU going to do for Toybox?"
St Mary's Church Barcombe
The Christingle service just before Christmas was an afternoon of fun and laughter at St Mary's Church, Barcombe as the children got busy fundraising for the street children.
Heather Shepheard, the Mission Giving Committee Secretary says "A month in advance of this the children were all given button tubes (obtained from a local Haberdashery shop) and covered with Christmassy paper and Toybox labels. Each tube contained a lollypop as an incentive and the children were asked to fill them with small coins and loose change from home. The local school also took part and together we raised £362.84 in this venture. It was great fun and everyone enjoyed taking part!"
£40 was also raised through a coffee morning held at the Church, and the Church raised a further £500 through mission giving donations. That's a total of £903.84!!
With the support of wonderful people like those at St Marys, Toybox can reach more children in more places out in Latin America. Thank you to all those very special Barcombe people who have fundraised for Toybox and for the children - we are very grateful for your love, support and prayers. Keep up the great work!
Hereford Cathedral Junior School
The children at Hereford Cathedral Junior School have been raising money for Toybox and being very creative at the same time! The children took part in a Posada hunt where they went searching around the school for the posada nativity figures which had been carefully hidden. They then listed where the figures were as fast as they could!
The children also took part in a creative writing competition where they had to write no more than 100 words about how they would welcome the holy family into their home. Here are a few of the winning entries:
Year 3 - Danny Clark
If I could welcome the holy family into my home I would introduce them to my pets. I have three dogs called Shadow, Storm and Dust - they would have to take care that Dust doesn't chew them because he is still a puppy. Next I would put them in my vivarium to meet my gecko called Guy - they would get very hot in there. To cool down I would take the outside to feed some grain to my chickens, Dorothy, Matilda, Mrs Moneyhenny and Queeny. Then I would take them for a walk with my dogs.
Year 4 - Harriet Williams
I would welcome the Holy Family into my home by giving them food and drink and a nice comfy bed with some fresh clothes, and organise a donkey to take them home to Bethlehem.
Year 3 - George Sweetman
If the holy family came to my house I would make them feel at home and give them the best, most comfortable beds, teach them how to speak English and give them food and water. If they had been travelling for a long time, I would ask them if they would like a hot, private bath or shower and put them to bed, and in the morning sing to them: "We have some Frosties, Frosties, Frosties; we have some Frosties, enough for you and me! And give them a lift to where they wanted to go.
Thank you to all who took part - HCJS managed to raise a massive £40 for the street children in Bolivia - and a big Toybox thank you to Dr Tomlinson who organised it all. With the support of wonderful people like those at Hereford Cathedral Junior School, Toybox can reach more children in more places out in Latin America - keep up the good work guys!
Natalia Fricker is a Leeds University student and is this month's fabulous fundraiser! Natalia has been in action at her old school - St Mary's, Calne in Wiltshire, where she has been running a tuck shop to raise money for Toybox. Thanks to all of the keen sweet buyers at St Marys, Natalia has managed to raise £1000! What an amazing amount to raise, and what an amazing amount of good such a sum of money can do out in Latin America!
Natalia herself knows a fair bit about Latin America - she went out to Guatemala in June last year, and was able to spend a day with El Castillo out on the streets.
Natalia says: "Though I only spent one day there (with El Castillo), I would just like to say how much that day meant to me - I will remember it vividly for the rest of my life. I was delighted to get on so well with all the fabulous people who work there and it was so evident to me how much God is working in that place. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to spend time with the children and I admire them so much for having such beautiful, joyous, angelic smiles despite the continual adversaries of their lives.
I learned a lot about the terrible situations so many street children face in Guatemala City and God has really put this place and those children on my heart; not a day goes by that I do not think of them in my prayers and wish I could be back there to show them the love they deserve. I pray that the great work done there will ever continue and flourish and that more and more children may be saved! "
Without wonderful people like Natalia, Toybox wouldn't be able to tell such great stories about the children we work with. Thank you to all the people who have fundraised for Toybox and for the children - we are very grateful for your love, support and prayers. A massive thank you to Natalia and to the guys at St Mary's School, Calne - keep up the great work!
Vikki wrote to us telling us all about the wonderful fundraising events she has been getting up to. We then looked at her address - she is all the way over in New Zealand! The plight of street children is being heard far and wide!
Vikki and her friends have been working hard - they call themselves "The Nutcases" and have been having a great time fundraising at Canvastown School.
Vikki herself has also done a sponsored "going without technology" for a whole week! So no computer, no internet, no television etc - brave girl Vikki!
The girls held a charity cakestall and baked many tasy treats to raise money for the street children, as well as many other fundraising activities. The money that the girls have raised so tirelessly will help reach children on the streets who are in need of hope - Vikki has helped give them some!
Altogether, Vikki and pals have raised $83.50 NZ Dollars, which comes out at about £33 - well done girls! Keep up the great work, and keep telling everyone about Toybox and the street children!
Alvaro Grana & Grange Farm Primary School and Finham Primary
Alvaro Grana, a Peruvian born teacher from Coventry has been teaming up with some enthusiasts from Grange Farm Primary School and Finham Primary in Styvechale, Coventry, to make music for the street children!
Alvaro and fellow musician Craig Cubbitt ran music workshops to demonstate how to play the panpipes and other Latin American percussion instruments. The event culminated in a wonderful performance by Alvaro, Craig and the children of traditional Latin American melodies which they had been rehearsing for a number of weeks.
People attending the workshops and the concert were encouraged to make a small donation towards the work of Toybox, and thanks to all the hard work and enthusiasm of all involved, the team managed to raise £800!!
Without the help of people like Grange Farm Primary School, Finham Primary, Craig and Alvaro, Toybox wouldn't be able to do all that it is doing in Latin America. Many more children have been reached and helped because of the love and compassion of Alvaro and the team. Keep up the good work!
Sarah and Emily Appleby
This months fundraisers come from Axbridge in Somerset where they have been waving the Toybox flag at a scarecrow festival in their home town.
The girls, Sarah (11) and Emily (8½) ran a cake and toy stall outside their house during the festival and so all the people who came to see the scarecrows also came to Sarah and Emily’s wonderful stall.
The girls even made their own very fetching scarecrow (called Eric) to attract customers! In that one Saturday morning, Emily and Sarah raised a massive £60 for the street children – well done girls!
Without wonderful people like the Applebys, Toybox wouldn’t be able to help the children of Latin America – Emily and Sarah have made it happen! Well done girls for your enthusiasm and love for the street children. On behalf of us here at Toybox, and those precious children we work with – Thank you.
David and Dorothy Williams
David and Dorothy have been Toybox supporters for more than 6 years and are a shining example of commitment and ingenuity.
For a long time now, David and Dorothy have been raising money for Toybox by selling their home made Marmalade! To date they have raised over £2000, and are still continuing to sell their wonderful marmalade, so watch this space for future updates! Thank you so much for your efforts David and Dorothy, and for bringing 'Overslade Marmalade' to many delighted people in Warwickshire!
There is not a month that goes by without either David or Dorothy contacting the Toybox office requesting some more labels for their maramalade jars, or requesting some information to give to someone they have just been talking to about Toybox.
David and Dorothy have also been out to Guatemala this year (as pictured above) and have had a chance to see their support in action. We understand they had a great time, despite a little bit of tummy trouble!
Without people like David and Dorothy, Toybox wouldn't be making leaps and bounds in reaching more children, so a very big thank you to the Williams' for all they have done and are continuing to do for the children in Latin America.
The Cycling Team - Duncan, Jim, Andy F, Sarah, Sally, Graham, Robert, Natalie, David, Paul and Andy S
The team have raised a massive £16,397.08 for the street children and the total is still rising as more people show their support for these brilliant cyclists.
These eleven intrepid cyclists rode the momentous journey from Lands End in Cornwall, all the way to John O'Groats in Caithness! Their ages range from 37 to 61, they covered 1,034 miles in total, the shortest day was 40 miles and longest 96, they had 13 punctures and a couple of mechanical failures, they got lost twice and two of the riders were involved in a minor accident (they ran into each other!), they encountered rain, heavy rain and torrential rain, wind, more wind, sunshine and blue sky (but not at the same time), they climbed countless hills and descended just as many and in the end were still speaking to each other...
Thanks to everyone who sponsored the team, and a very big Toybox thank you to the eleven marvellous people who, for two whole weeks, were battling physical, mental and meteorological forces to help save the street children of Latin America.
POGOs from St Mark's Church Colney Heath
The St Mark's POGOs are: George Anstey, Timothy Charlwood, Cain Joseph, Phoebe Morgans, Ruth Puddefoot, Dayna Wilson, Jasmine Day, Daniel Fox, Nathan Gibbins, Sam Newlove, Chloe Alvis, Stephanie Calder, Gabriele Day, Luke Gibbins, Robyn Harvey-Smith and Reece Wilson.
These special people had great fun in May when they held a Toybox morning and raised a brilliant £486.72 for the street children! Well done guys!
The team did a mixture of activities, including bobbing for apples, eating dry crackers, skipping, transfering peas with a straw and running lengths of the hall three legged. Each participant was sponsored for each event, and the number of completed actions was counted, and their sponsorship calculated. One brave sponser commented that he hadn't realised how many peas these guys could transfer in just one minute!
As part of the morning, the team also watched the Toybox DVD to learn a bit more about the street children and listened to volunteer Tony Gibbs takling about his experiences in Latin America.
Without brilliant people like the POGOs, Toybox wouldn't be able to change the lives of street children in Latin America, so keep going team!
Who would have thought that the retirement of the Toy Retailers Association’s (TRA) president Val Stedham would mean that children like Maria (10) could give up work too? In Latin America, an estimated 40 million children live or work on the streets, many with no actual home. These children often have to work for a living instead of going to school and building a future for themselves
However, Val’s retirement is helping Toybox change the lives of Maria and thousands of other children like her. Val’s colleagues bought her a going-away gift of sponsorship for one street child for a year – a little boy named Paulo in Guatemala. But at the Annual Toy Awards Martin Grossman, a toy supplier from Scotland who was co-hosting the dinner, coxed the generous retailers and suppliers to make donations on Val’s behalf. It took less than 20 minutes to raise an amazing £10,500 for these children. That could be enough for Toybox to save 134 street children in Peru, Bolivia or Guatemala and give them back their childhood.
It took the toy retailers just twenty minutes to raise such a fantastic amount. Twenty minutes is a very significant period for a street child. Why? Because the first twenty minutes a runaway child fleeing an abusive home spends on the streets can determine whether that child lives or dies. Targeted by traffickers, gangs and prostitute rings, it is vital to offer them hope in those first minutes. That’s why Toybox supports Red Alert projects to meet the children early.
Val, known as Granny Val to her friends, has supported Toybox for a number of years. She said “It is wonderful that as I leave, my colleagues have honoured me by supporting Toybox, a cause that I love.”
Val first found out about Toybox through Gary Grant, CEO of the Entertainer Chain of Toyshops. Gary commented: “I am delighted that the very generous donations made at the TRA Awards and Dinner will be used by Toybox to support the amazing work that they are doing with forgotten children in Latin America. Many of these children are homeless and do not even have the basic necessities in life, let alone toys. I know that the Toybox team will use the money wisely to make a real difference to their lives.”
Christine has walked 33.5 miles to raise a whopping £650.81 for the street children! Well done Christine!
It all started back at the beginning of 2008 when Christine made a New Year's Resolution to do something for Toybox, and indeed she did!
From February 4th to 14th, over a period of 9 days, Christine walked the 33.5 miles beside the Grand Union Canal, along the tow paths and around the unexpected collapsed banks at Denham Deep, incorporating 50 locks and 70 bridges!
Christine was thrilled at the amount of people who supported her and helped her raise the £650.81. She says "God's guiding hand was on the whole project. He even provided £7.81 found along the walk!"
Christine would like to thank all of the Toybox supporters who were uplifting her in prayer during those 2 weeks, without whom, she is positive that none of it would have been possible.
The path wasn't always easy, but nothing was going to stop Christine!