Bringing “the angel” into the homes of families for whom getting a Christmas tree might not be the biggest challenge – this is the aim of the popular Christmas shoebox campaign across Europe, which has involved many local and foreign families, businesses and aid agencies this year too.
Thanks to the generosity of German families and the organizational work of our partners – the Humedica Organisation, the Round Table Foundation and the Elmar Karl Support Group in Bibergau – 13.315 Christmas shoeboxes recently arrived at our logistics centers. 3000 gifts were delivered by our staff in Alba Iulia thanks to the Round Table Foundation, 213 boxes of surprises were sent by the Elmar Karl Support Group in Biebergau to Gheorgheni and 5.850 shoeboxes arrived in Sfântu Gheorghe. The Humedica Organisation sent 2.468 gift boxes to our workpoint in Odorheiu Secuiesc and 1.784 to our workpoint in Tîrgu-Mureș.
Employees of the pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter Romania contributed with shoeboxes ornamented with personal drawings to the Christmas of children living in conditions of poverty.
2.829 gifts will be distributed to families with young children in our care, while 8.448 parcels will be distributed to families in need in Catholic parishes.
For years, the Triplast warehouse has been the Christmas shoebox reception point of Caritas Alba Iulia in Tîrgu-Mureș. Here the parcels were sorted and organized by gender and age groups by our volunteers. How did the work go? Our volunteer, Abigél-Annamária Tamás tells a few details about it.
If someone asked me what happiness is, I would say a box full of love. In these boxes are not just gifts, but much more. Values. Lovingly packaged treasures that will make the hearts of many young children smile.
To be together with your peers, to laugh, to share experiences over a hot cup of tea, to recharge with love and to send a shoebox full of kindness to someone. Isn’t that all you need in this chaotic world?
The shoebox campaign is one of my favorite activities every year. It’s such a wonderful moment, it’s hard to put into words what it means to me. It makes me so grateful to be able to contribute to the happiness of young children.
As everyone was rushing around me, I was paying attention to the looks on my peers’ faces, and it made me feel so good to see the willingness to do something, to help, and most importantly, to love. Everything we do, we do from our hearts. Even if we are just small pebbles in the world, on this day we can become real diamonds for a moment, and on Christmas Eve we can sparkle and smile back at the heart of one child or another.
While packing the boxes, I had a very special feeling in my heart. I remembered that when I was a child, the parish priest used to surprise us with a small shoebox on Christmas Eve. I saw a little child in front of me, and in her I found myself. Sparkling eyes and a childlike curiosity eager to see what’s inside the little box. As the festive season approaches, we think more and more about family gatherings, intimate moments, fragrant cookies and presents, but unfortunately not all children have access to all these things. However, I feel, that Christmas is for everyone. I know that there will be many similar little children who will open their little shoeboxes with hearts full of gratitude, tears in their eyes, with the infinite joy of childlike desire, with great longing this Christmas, too. And at each opening, my heart will be a little richer with a child’s smile.
Christmas isn’t really about us, it’s about love, about giving love to those who are important to us. I will end my report with my favorite quote: “Let Christmas be not in snow, nor in stars, nor on festive shredded cookies, nor on decorated trees, but in our hearts”. To whoever receives the little shoebox, may you always be guided by love, happiness and hope, may Christmas be in your heart every day of the year, and may the infinite grace of God shower you with all its wonders.
We would like to thank Triplast and Melinda Steel for the provided storage space and the Bethlen Gábor Foundation for their support.
Translated by: Orsolya Barabás