Dodie, Client Services Manager, would like to share a story with you about the Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Box Program.
For years, our internal office team at Solutions Staffing would decorate and lovingly fill shoe boxes for children in countries in far away lands. We didn’t really know where they would end up, we only knew they were to end up in the hands of poor children in countries miles from our comfortable homes in Canada. I often wondered, where and how they were received. I am fortunate to now have an answer to those questions.
I have lived in Ecuador, South America for 6.5 years and we are actively involved in community projects. Ecuador is a diverse and beautiful country located between Columbia and Peru. As in many third world countries, it is an experience in great contrasts. From rich expensive ocean front estates to scrawling, poverty stricken neighborhoods with bamboo homes, mud floors, without plumbing, water or electricity.
I have attached a photo of a home; the girl that lives there is 12 years old and her name is Alejandria. She lives alone with her father in this humble house of bamboo that is ready to fall down. The room you see, they both sleep in, the clothes on the floor as they have nowhere else to put them. They have electricity but no bathroom. They have one hose for water that comes from the neighbors home across the street. She washes her own clothes in a bucket and hangs it to dry along hanging rope.
Alejandria was at the church the night the Samaritan’s Purse Shoe boxes arrived. She ran up to me with a big hug. She is one of more than 120 children that received these
I have included a photo of the truck as they arrived with the large cartons containing the boxes. The men from the church unloaded the boxes and carried them to the front of the church. The receiving organization pays $1.00 per box. This church sold meals and Christmas crafts to earn enough for the 120 children.
The children gathered together to sing, to laugh, to pray. This particular church is a Pentecostal Evangelical church that ministers to the poorest of the poor in our area of La Libertad Ecuador on the south Coast. I know many of these children personally; I know that many of them miss meals regularly. This night, after they received their boxes, they also received turkey sandwiches from a turkey that was donated from an American couple I know. The drink was colada, made of oatmeal and fruit and enjoyed on special occasions; and this was truly a special occasion for each of them.
Included with the boxes are biblical workbooks; I have added a picture of the children the following week at Sunday School, reading and praying together for a better life, for hope for their futures, for a meal today, for shoes that fit. These shoe boxes renewed that hope, it provided them with a warm hug from strangers far, far away.
I personally collected hugs from each of these children for the fruits of the labor of love that so many people in offices across Canada donated to. The love you sent across the ocean in these little boxes was received with laughter and with great appreciation.
Since writing this story, I want you to know that Alejandria and her father now live in a new home with water, electric, bathroom and kitchen; paid for in large part by a generous donation from a Solutions Staffing nurse who came to Ecuador and put her own sweat and tears into the project…. but that is her story to tell one day….
Keep shining a light in this world everyone!