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A simple shoebox gift packed with love and fuelled by prayer can have a huge impact!

Jaki received a shoebox whilst living in an orphanage in Guatemala.
occ-logo-1200x1200My favourite thing I received in my box was a toothbrush of my very own (at the orphanage we had one toothbrush for 10 girls). I got a lot of use out of it. It was a prized possession. To this day when I pack shoebox gifts, I don’t just include one toothbrush—I pack at least four of them in each box! That way, the children can use them for a long time, or have enough of them to give to their friends or family members.
I also received a cuddly toy animal. I was 5 years old, so I loved to hug it. I was delighted to receive crayons and colouring books. When the girls and I coloured, there was no white space left on the pieces of paper. We filled every available space with colour.
The possessions we really cherished we kept underneath our mattresses. I didn’t receive a photo in my shoebox, but some of the other girls did. They kept the photos underneath their mattresses so they could pull them out to look at them then tuck them away again for safekeeping. I always include a photo and a letter in the shoeboxes I pack because I remember how much the girls treasured them. Even if they couldn’t read the writing, it meant something to them that they were from those who had given them the gifts.
I had heard about Jesus at the orphanage. When we had received our shoeboxes, we learned the song, “Jesus loves me.” But it wasn’t until later that I truly knew who He is and that Jesus really does love me.

Do join us with this year’s shoebox appeal to bless children like Jaki who rarely receive any gifts at all. Leaflets to explain how it works are in the foyer and the closing date for shoeboxes to be dropped off at St Mary’s church is Monday 18th November

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