Thursday, 30 January 2014

The hidden price of parcels

Our family is forever thankful for the love and kindness of all our friends, from around the world, who support us with such generous giving.
At Christmas we were inundated with parcels for our children, which is wonderful and we so appreciate every single one. You made Santa's sack so easy to fill, with more left over for later!
The volume of parcels highlighted a problem we face every time we collected a gift send from abroad – import duty!
The cost of postage from the country of origin, and import tax we as a charity have to pay, is often in excess of the contents.
We know how much you love to send gifts, and are conscious that we have often asked  you, as we did before Chrsitmas to send gifts, or  for specific items, but after giving it very serious thought, Mama Sue thinks there might be a better way .
By giving money, to enable us to buy what we need locally we will all get best value for money.. Only when we are really stuck for specific necessities, that we can't buy in Kenya, will we put out a request that requires postage.

We are fortunate that, thanks to YOU, our storeroom has a wonderful stock of clothing etc, and we also have a store of items to ensure every child receives a gift for their birthday.
But keep your messages coming!
Cards, letters, postcards, emails and photos mean so much to our children - they squirrel them away in their memory boxes with such pride and joy.
They really are enough.
Instead of a gift you could make a contribution to your child’s savings account. The accounts are intended to create nesteggs for our children when they reach independence. You can make contributions in a number of ways, email Elizabeth in the UK and she will send you details –
What we would like to do, and we welcome your comments on this,  is to tell you what we need at any one time so, instead of sending a parcel, you could make a donation via JustGiving, or cheque, instead., to buy an items. 
It worked brilliantly with school shoes ready for the start of this school year, when we asked you to donate £10 per pair.  This not only helped our children, but also put money into the local economy, which is an added bonus!
Right now we need exercise books – we have 70 children needing at least six each- and plain pencils.
We also need football boots and trainers, as more of our kids really getting into serious soccer and volleyball.  We estimate £10 a term for exercise books and pencils for each child.
Trainers and football boots are approx. £15 a pair,
If you would like to help with these you can go direct to
Just choose your amount (and every penny helps) and please leave a message to say what you would like to buy. Your name is optional, but please do gift aid if you are eligible to do so as it adds an extra 25p from the UK Government to the amount you give, and that’s a real bonus!
We do hope that you will understand why we are taking this road. It is a shame, but with parcels being penalised every which way, it really is the most effective way for you to give to your child, our family,  who we know have a very special place in your hearts.
Mama could not have created and continued to develop her Happy House without your love and your support, you are amazing and we love you, too.
Seed trays
Scott Webster, a volunteer who does much to help our gardeners in organising rotation and planting, is keen to get some specialiist seed trays out to the Happy House. He is happy to order and pay for them to be delivered to anyone planning to travel out to the Happy House in the next few months and is happy to transport them. He promises they are not heavy, just bulky!
If you can help lease contact Scott direct