Have you noticed how quickly the time flies by ? Yep, me too. Every year seems to disappear a bit quicker than the one before. It seems like only yesterday that we were scrabbling around, ticking off lists, packing bags, and testing cuddly toys for the surprise visit of Santa to the children in the Provincial Hospital at Christmas. But the clock never stands still and here we are again almost halfway through the "ber" months. Two months from today will be Christmas Eve, so it's time to kick-start Project Santa 13. Last year we provided gift bags for 150 children, from new born and premature babies to 11 years old, and we just about made the mark in quantity. So this year we will provide for 200 children. At just 200 pesos per child the Christmas fund will need 40,000 pesos. The largest group is the walking age to 5, so the breakdown of gift bags will possibly be as follows:- New babies to pre-walking - 50 bags. Walking to 5/6 ish unisex - 70 bags. 5/6 to 11 ish girls - 40 bags. 5/6 to 11 ish boys - 40 bags. Total 200 bags. The age groups of those in there can never be accurately predicted as there are constant admissions and departures. So the increased quantity of gift bags for the 5/6/7 years old age bracket gives us a grey area where the child could get a gift bag from any of the categories other than new babies. All of the bags contain hygiene products with variations according to age and sex, plus games, books, colouring books, pens, yo-yo's, dolls, cars, things that bounce and things that don't, plus all new babies and unisex to 5/6 also have a safe cuddly toy. I risk repeating myself here from last year, but I make no apologies for that. The children that are in there at Christmas are from the poorest and most marginalised sections of society. Most know what Christmas is, but none of them have experienced the indulgences that we take for granted in the western world. They're sick, they're in a strange environment, they're in pain and they're frightened. Some of them, sadly, may not have another Christmas. For them it's just another day amongst the 365, and our object is to change that. It only takes an hour to hand out the gifts, but the look of surprise and excitement from the kids makes it a truly magical hour. I'd like to emphasise, so that there can be no misinterpretation, that this is a notice of intent, simply an announcement of what we plan, and is in no way a solicitation for donations. Any help is gratefully received, but that is a matter for each individuals conscience and generosity. We kick-off today with 5000 in the pot. Come what may, I guarantee that the 40k will be there. One hour. Free One gift bag. 200 pesos. One smile from a sick child. Priceless. Roger.