Generous Mennonites throughout the Reinfeld area will once again be collecting empty shoeboxes this year to send to needy children in time for the holidays.
“Many people stuff the shoeboxes with clothes, books, and other practical items,” said shoebox co-ordinator Betsy Brandt. “But what they don’t realize is that the real gift is the shoebox itself.”
Brandt then went on the describe all the many uses there are for an empty shoebox.
“You can use it to store all your old Polaroid photos. You can fill it with soil and grow rhubarb in there. You can cut it up and use the cardboard to write down recipes or jot down a grocery list,” said Brandt. “The shoebox is one of the most versatile objects known to man. I don’t know why we need to fill it up with a bunch of junk yet.”
The group has already collected more than a hundred and fifty boxes and are hoping to break the record set by the town of Landskron for the most donations of completely empty shoeboxes. A representative from Operation Christmas Shoebox praised their efforts.
“In all my years, I’ve never seen this kind of generosity,” said charity rep Diana Archibald. “When added all together the total value of donations received might even exceed fifty cents. These shoeboxes will bring joy and delight to impoverished people around the world.”
Mrs. Brandt said she likes to imagine a child in some foreign land tearing away the wrapping paper on Christmas day to find nothing but a shoebox.
“That image warms the cockles of my heart,” said Brandt. “It takes quite the effort to pry these completely valueless items from the hands of people throughout the region, but I’m happy to know that effort is worthwhile.”
(Photo credit: by emilyASwt/CC)