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.!

One Response

  1. Wow!

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