My Mother is Hijacking my Blog to Say Thank You!

I am borrowing Melissa’s Social Media to say thank you to all those folks who helped make our shoe box drive such a success.
Earlier this week, John and I rented a van, loaded shoe boxes and drove to Penn. to deliver them for shipping. We’ve been doing this for 6 years now, but this year was some how different. Melissa needed more boxes for all of the orphanage as well as the village. My goal was to get 200 boxes. All Because of some wonderful people, some who read Melissa challenge to “be the hands and feet of Christ” and some who didn’t, all who just wanted to help, we made that goal and then some. So thanks very much to Mary and the folks from OAH in Raleigh, who for the last 6 years have produce the much sought after “brown paper package”, and to Mary’s dentist office, to Keenan and her neighbors in Charlotte, to Judy and her drama classes at Union Pines HS, who by the way, said they would do 50 boxes and ended up giving 63. Much thanks to friends, Sharon and Joe, Mike and Louanne; Alice, Robby, Shea, Alex and Nidia,( who brought her in-laws in to it)from the Wilmington film community; Thanks to the Quest home school group and New Hanover Church. Thanks to more family, Fran and Steve, Forrest and Elizabeth, Maggie and Boney, Diane and Hadley, Tom and Jill, Bob for all the clothes; Thank you to Meghan’s bible study group and Pat and Larry. To Kim and her bible study group. To Janet and Donna. Diane for the toys. Pauline for the great kids clothes. Thank you to Megan, who came over and wrapped tons of boxes, so I didn’t have to! Many of you have been doing shoe boxes for several years and have watch one child grow up. Others have just made Christmas special for the children. Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anyone, but more likely I have, I thank all of you.

We took 247 shoe boxes and 30 plus comfort kits (a great start to more boxes for the special needs orphanage for adults), and hand made blankets and hats from Carolyn. When Enterprise found out what we were using the van for, they gave us a super deal and we were able to use that savings to help with shipping cost.

This shoebox count doesn’t include the boxes from Gulfhaven Church in Gulfport, Mississippi or from Pomroy Chapel in Smithville, Tennessee. It doesn’t include the boxes from Mary and Brian in California or from Wendy in Texas or from Amber and Abriana in Houston or from Esther and Melissa in PA. It doesn’t include the boxes from the Halteman’s who have all come to the summer camps in Romania and have all adopted a child, so for 6 years now. We are so blessed because so many people heard call and answered. It may not be huge deal to you to make a box or two or more, but to the child to receives it, it makes their Christmas.

For whatever reason I feel specially blessed this year by all of you. We were at summer camp this year and got to meet many of the children who get the boxes and it was even more important to me to get enough boxes to Romania. So once again, Thank you again and May your Christmas be blessed as you have blessed the children.


Why We Do Christmas Shoeboxes

The following blog was supposed to go out a couple of weeks ago, but due to the poor internet I have, I couldn’t get the blog to publish. It is still relevant, though. Enjoy!

One of our mentoring girls had come over to help me out one day. I was canning tomatoes and needed an extra pair of hands with the kids. While we were in the kitchen, she asked me “Can I ask my Christmas sponsor for something?” “Sure, but it doesn’t mean you will get it.” She hesitated…she had never asked me for something…”I really want a flat iron so that my hair will look nice for school.” (Meaning her hair will look cleaner because she doesn’t have running water and can’t wash her hair as often as she wants.) I told her that one couldn’t be sent from America because the voltage is different and it wouldn’t work. “Oh, ok,” she said. I asked, “Why don’t you ask your parents for it for Christmas?” “I’ve never gotten a Christmas present from my parents. There are too many of us and they couldn’t get something for all of us, so none of us ever got anything.”

I stopped. I couldn’t imagine that. Growing up, there was always something under the tree for me and my brother. My mom was an expert at lay-a-way and dad would build “firework supports” in the garage, only to reveal a doll house on Christmas morning. Not getting a Christmas gift from my parents is something I couldn’t believe.

She then told me she had never gotten a Christmas gift until I gave a Christmas shoebox 2 years ago. Uug! I remember that year. I had left her off the year by accident and she ended up with a box for a little girl. I felt so bad, that I gave her 2 boxes in hope she could find something nice for a thirteen year old! .
“You’ve never gotten a Christmas gift before I gave you one?….What about at school, did you ever get a gift from school?” (Many times the schools will give a gift to the children, but usually the teachers collect money from the parents for this and if the parents can’t send in money, they don’t send their child to school that day.) She though for a second. “Oh wait, we once got shoeboxes at church one year, when I was really small. I think they were from America.”

I have always known that for many of the kids we serve, the Christmas shoeboxes are the only gifts they receive. But I think I always thought the parents would go and get something…even a chocolate or an orange for their kids. But so many of the families we serve can’t even do this. This is why we do Christmas shoeboxes. To show children they are loved and that Jesus loves them. Their parents love them so much, but can’t always provide the extra treats, so that’s what we do. Thank you to everyone who was able to make a shoebox for our children. If you haven’t and want to, there is still time until the week of October 11th. And in case you were wondering… our girl got her flat iron, thanks to our summer intern Kelvey.!