One of my amazing readers sent in this story written by her husband about the Christmas that he received a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child.
Growing up in Romania, Christmas often did not mean presents or Santa Claus for me. Usually my mom would try to make a special meal that day but very rarely did we ever get presents. One Christmas stands out in my mind and that was the year I got a gift from Operation Christmas Child. There was a non for profit organization in town and I had gone to a few of their kids’ clubs and played soccer there. When Christmas came around we were told that they would be giving us shoeboxes of presents for Christmas, sent by foreigners.
I was so excited as they handed me a shoe box and I wondered what could be inside. I closed my eyes and thought “if I could choose anything to be in this box what would it be?” My first wish was for what every 10 yr old Romanian boy would want, a soccer ball. I loved to play soccer but didn’t have a ball of my own. In fact, I didn’t have many toys of my own. Of course I knew a soccer ball could never fit into a box that size, but it didn’t matter to me I was just happy to have a present. When I opened the box I could not believe my eyes! Inside was a small, sturdy, soccer ball! It just needed to have air pumped into it. It felt like a miracle.
I have since grown up, moved to the United States and graduated from college. I watch my own kids’ eyes light up as they open their presents Christmas morning. And I tell them about a small shoebox that made Christmas special to me, many years ago.
Want to learn more about how you can participate in Operation Christmas Child? Be sure to check out this post.