Christmas Box began in Rarotonga six years ago. The project was created with the hopes of giving underprivileged families, who may be struggling during the festive season, the opportunity to partake in Christmas celebrations.
When Christmas Box Cook Islands began, the committee only had the means to distribute 250 Christmas boxes, and these boxes were just delivered to islands in the southern group.
Now, six years on, the number of boxes distributed has quadrupled, and are now delivered to each of the 13 inhabited islands in the Cook Islands.
Each Christmas box is filled with dry goods such as Weet-Bix, noodles, and canned goods.
The boxes also contain treats such as packets of chips, Milo, and cookies, luxuries that families experiencing financial hardship may not be able to afford. Each box is filled with enough food to feed a family of 4-5. This year’s Christmas box has proven to be the most successful one yet.
Christmas Box organiser, Vaiana George told Cook Islands News that lots of volunteers came to help unload the containers.
George also extended her most profound thanks to Christmas Box major sponsors Bank of the Cook Islands, who made substantial monetary donations, and Bank of the South Pacific, who generously donated money and helped with all fundraisers.
George also expressed words of gratitude towards Taio Shipping and Transam Cook Islands, the companies that kindly shipped the Christmas boxes to the Pa Enua.
Christmas boxes have already arrived at some of the outer islands.
People from both islands have offered up their thanks saying “meitaki ranuinui” and “meitaki poria” to all the Christmas Box organisers, sponsors, and to the people of the Cook Islands who continue to donate every year, without whom Christmas Box wouldn’t be possible.
- Teherenui Koteka