It Takes Teamwork

By Dawn Carnill
Director of Christmas Outreach

The 23-member 2017 South Africa Christmas team is already back home, decorating their own trees and gearing up for their own family holidays in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. They spent 10 days in South Africa in late November, putting on 17 parties and going on numerous home visits with the Living Hope home-based healthcare workers. A couple of thousand gifts were handed out, food was served, crafts were made, carnival games were played, faces were painted, and thousands upon thousands of high-fives, fist-bumps and hugs were shared.

These 23 people didn’t get there by themselves – nor did the 12 team members serving in Manila this week, or the 26 in Quito for our Christmas parties there. We don’t do these celebrations by ourselves. It takes teamwork. As I worked alongside the team, the ER staff, our partners and their staff, and all those we celebrated with this year (so far), I was reminded over and over again of the concept of teamwork.

In South Africa, we’ve been privileged to have a man named Fransi drive our team for the last seven years or so. He always joins in and helps us out – with supplies, moving luggage and even with our time of sharing in Beaufort West with the kids and garbage dump workers, who share his native Afrikaans language. (That’s him pictured above, speaking to our team and the dump workers; and at left with our other driver, Noel.)

Every time you thank or commend Fransi, he replies with, “It takes teamwork.” Every. Single. Time. He, and all of those who work on the ground with us in our three locations, is part of the greater ER Christmas team.

Those of you reading this are also part of that team. You encourage us, you give to our Christmas Outreach fund, you share what we with your friends and families, you have collected beanie babies, school supplies and hotwheel cars for us, you may have been on one of our past Christmas teams or you may have helped one of our team members with their funds or their family while they were gone.

You’ve helped us put on Christmas parties for thousands of people this year already in South Africa, the Philippines, Ecuador and also Nepal. I would like to thank you for your part in taking the joy of Christmas to thousands of people around the globe this year.  Thank you for helping us to be able to continue serving those we work with and expand our reach through these celebrations.

It’s not too late to give this year (click here to learn how), and it’s just the right time to start planning to join one of our 2018 Christmas teams. Please watch our website in early February for the 2018 dates and team locations. Thanks again for being a part of our team!