Hope for the Holidays
Kids arrive at the ChristmasKindness carnival.
In December 2005, Oprah's Angel Network threw a Christmas party in Johannesburg, South Africa. Oprah's Angel Network invited local orphaned or at-risk children who struggle to obtain the things many often take for granted—food, education and a safe place to call home.
Oprah greets the children arriving for the carnival.
Buses picked up the children in their communities the morning of the party. For them, Christmas is something they've heard of but have never been able to celebrate.
A child enjoys playing at the Christmas carnival.
The children spilled into a Christmas carnival—complete with games and inflatable jumping castles.
A clown entertains at the carnival.
There were clowns on hand just for laughs.
A child gets his face painted at the Christmas carnival.
The children even got their faces painted!
Oprah helps hand out gifts.
A huge Christmas tree overflowed with presentsa sack of presents for each child! Shoes, clothes, dolls, toys, soccer balls, pots and pans, toiletries, plates and utensils, books and school supplies filled each sack.
Oprah helps a child with his new shoes.
Oprah's Angel Network found great support from North American and South African companies. Nike donated shoes for every child.
Hasbro donated many toys.
Hasbro gave toys to help fill those sacks of presents—including games and trucks.
Oprah and children admire the new digital photos.
Hewlett-Packard set up a digital camera and printer so the children can leave with a picture of themselves—a rare treasure.
The children enjoy their new furry friends from Build-A-Bear
Build-a-Bear also set up an entire store! Each child picked, stuffed and dressed an animal.
The kids are excited to receive gifts of food and electricity.
Toys aren't the only gifts that bring joy. These children live in 220 different households throughout Soweto, South Africa—households are often run by grandmothers or other children. In addition to toys and gifts, each household also received six months worth of food parcels. Some families also received one year's worth of electricity.
The children also received new clothes.
The children needed clothes, too. A grant was created for school uniforms—a treasure for many of these children. Also, after the event, the oldest children went on an organized shopping trip to Pick 'n Pay, a local department store. They felt empowered to pick out clothes for themselves and their younger siblings.
Oprah bonds with a child.
At the end of the day, the children felt overwhelmed by love and generosity. Extended family members—the grannies that head so many of the households—said that they believed their prayers were heard.

Support Oprah's Angel Network— make a donation today.