If you were not too busy during december and you follow me on Facebook than I am sure that you saw my posts about how I got involved in Shoebox campaign this year.
If you don’t know what is Shoebox than here is a short description – a campaign run by volunteers that gather shoe boxes filled with presents for not so fortunate children. The idea is that the shoeboxes are made by our kids in order to develop generosity and kindness from a young age.
I heard about this campaign a long time ago when I was still living in UK and I thought that as soon as I can I will get involved too. And so I did this year. I set myself a low target. If I could just manage to gather around 20-30 shoeboxes from my close friends will be great. In the end however we had a lot more – 100 boxes were sitting in my living room waiting to be delivered on 16th of December. All the shoeboxes were done but my neighbours and friends from my hometown.
And because of my idea the campaign was done in my eldest school and even there almost 200 shoeboxes were gathered! Amazing!
Being part of this wonderful campaign gave me and my eldest a lot of excitement and satisfaction. Although the process was hard at the beginning it shortly brought more and more boxes which meant that more and more kids were set to be a tiny bit before Christmas.
We delivered some of the boxes to Kara’s school and to another close by school in my town (to the kids not so fortunate there) , to children straight at the places they live in (in and outside my hometown). There were tears of joy and emotion….there was instant happiness at these kids smiles and anticipation of joy but there was sadness too…
Seeing how some of these kids live break my heart. Some were living in places without water , electricity or heat. How is it possible in this day and age for this to be possible?
Receiving a present especially for them was more important for them than anything they found in the shoe boxes. Some of them receive their first toy car or doll through this project.
I love the fact that they had a romanian flag hanged somewhere in the house – you can see it small inside on the left side of the picture.
We also gave the girls below some dolls. – they never had some…so look how happy they are:
Some of these little people really break my heart because of the situation they are in…you see for example this little boy has a rare case of leukemia…although he didn’t smile through his words he made us understand how happy he was..”I received two presents just for me!” he told his neighbour.
His family struggles to pay for his treatment and there is probably no cash left for things like toys or sweets…
This next little girls is looked after by her grandparents (they are in their 70’s..):
You see how proud she is of her box? Smiles like her make doing things like this worth it!
This little girl has the Down syndrom and unfortunately she has to live in a wooden house along with the rest of her family – one room for 10 of them.
Besides of delivering the boxes to the children on my list (completed with names from the social services office and names from people that just know about cases of kids with a bad situation) , I also visited Centrul Scolar pentru Educatie Incluziva Maria Montessori which translated means The Center for Inclusive Education Maria Montessori.
Although he couldn’t talk properly the child in the picture below was really happy when he received his shoebox and he insisted on telling us a poetry. I smiled and cried all at the same time…
He wasn’t the only one there….some of the kids in the centre have homes to go too but the others were left in the centre to be looked after by the staff.
How cruel can a parent be to leave his child no matter the problems in somebody else care?
Look how this young boy sits on the floor and takes his time to discover what is in there…he even puts the gloves he just received on:
There are many stories to be told. Many kids stories but I am afraid I might bore you too much! If you have the chance to get involve in the Shoebox campaign next year please do. If next year I am still here and you would like to send a shoebox for the kids I will be delivering too please do get in touch. If you would like to collect boxes where you are for the kids in Romania then please get in touch.
There are many kids that need a little help here and everywhere…so if you can try and bring a little smile on a child face. It’s priceless. The centre I was telling about also needs help not only at Christmas – unfortunately is far from being as equipped with the things these children need…
So if you fancy coming to work as a voluntary in that centre why not get in touch and I will let you know what you need to do. Let’s transform these dark hallways in light hallways: