A SHOEBOX STORY FROM LAST YEAR’S SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN
Climbing the stairs to the little flat we were visiting seemed to take forever. The stairwell was dark, dingy and depressing. But walking through the door of the flat we met a huge contrast. It was not a large flat but you could feel the love, joy and life in that little home. Maria is an incredible woman who gives her life daily for her eleven adopted children and one child of her own. Four of her adopted children are already grown and two of them are away studying medicine (though they still come home regularly for food as they cannot afford to feed themselves). The other two are still living at home at the moment and help their mum with the eight younger children. As we gave out shoeboxes to these children there was so much joy in the room – each child excitedly showing the others what they had got and each of them genuinely showing an interest in what their siblings had received. Leena (9) is a quiet girl with cerebral palsy whose own family was not able to cope with her disability. But here she is a loved part of a family and there was a look of simple happiness on her face. She opened her own box and enjoyed exploring her gifts but for her the real pleasure seemed to be in admiring her sister’s boxes and enjoying with them the treasures which they had received.