Four-legged Elves Help Deliver Christmas Presents

Despite a difficult year in 2022, Barathegyi Guide Dog Foundation managed to finance and deliver Christmas presents to 64 children living either with disability or in poverty.

Many of the children came to our Head Office in Miskolc to pick up their presents.
“We are really grateful that despite the cost of living crisis, many of our supporters have been really generous and donated all these presents” – said Adam Balogh, member of our charity who organised Operation: Christmas Paws. “We would like to say thank you to everyone who donated on behalf of the children!”

Bela Zsigmond, a father whose children received presents through the programme said he was really grateful. “My children were really happy”- he said. “They didn’t expect any presents, it was a lovely surprise.” Erika Szatmari, a mum-of-two added: “It feels like we are all part of a big family, it is really heart-warming.”

The children also enjoyed meeting Adam’s guide dog Oktav and her retired companion Dana. The children also had the chance to meet guide dog puppy in training Aszu.

What was under the Christmas tree this year?

The presents received by the children did not only contain toys; some of the presents included clothes, personal electronics, stationary and craft supplies as well as sports equipment too. The youngest children received nappies and pushchairs, while their older siblings received teddies, dolls or toy cars. Older children were given Bluetooth earplugs, memory cards, sports equipment or warm winter clothes. Some of the children received a new school bag and some were given craft supplies such as paint or photo equipment. Some of the teenagers received hair-straighteners and make-up kits.

The story of Operation: Christmas Paws

Barathegyi Guide Dog School has been operating for more than 10 years. Throughout these 10 years, we have received an amazing amount of support from our donors and volunteers. 2022 marked the second year when we were able to raise funds to buy presents to children living in need or with a disability. Children who otherwise might not receive a Christmas present at all.

The 64 children who received presents through our charitable donation all live in Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen county and were chosen by the local authority’s family support group. We launched Operation: Christmas Paws on 1 December 2022 on our Facebook page and soon all the presents were donated by generous members of the public.

As presents started to pile up under the Christmas tree in our Miskolc office, we organized a Christmas party for the children for 19th December 2022. The rest of the presents were delivered by our volunteers. People making a donation were really generous and some of them even added little extra items. We believe that Operaion:

Christmas Paws is a great way to support our community and keep the spirit of Christmas alive. We hope we managed to make Christmas really magical for some of these children.

We would like to say thank you to all who participated and made Operation: Christmas Paws such a huge success!