Operation Christmas Child is now collecting donations to help children in need this holiday season. Samaritan's purse spearheads the collection, which runs nationwide but has operations in Syracuse. The group collects toys for some of the world's children and packs and delivers them in boxes.
S hoe boxes upon shoe boxes are being tied up this Christmas season.
These boxes are brought in by neighbors here in Syracuse, then sent to children in every corner of the world.
Whether it's markers, a hot wheels car or toothpaste, these boxes bring smiles to the faces of children who may never receive another gift.
Glennifer Mosher is one of the volunteers with the Collection Center in Syracuse. She helps coordinate where these boxes are being sent. "I know that there's a purple dinosaur in one of them. One little child had brought it in last and she was telling me all the things that she had put in there and she had found a purple dinosaur, somebody will get that," says Mosher. "Very very poor children, these are children who this will probably be the only gift they will get in their life. One little boy got a gift and he thought just the box was his gift, he didn't know there was anything inside of it."
Many people include contact information or a picture in their box, to let them know someone else cares.
"One little girl opened up her box and saw the picture and asked one of the volunteers, who are these people? They said these are the people who packed your box and so she started kissing the picture," says Mosher.
These stories are the reason volunteers have continued Operation Christmas Child in Syracuse for two decades.
"One little boy was paralyzed from birth and he was a shoe box and he said what am I going to do with shoes I don't walk, so when he opened it and there was a whole bunch of toys, he was thrilled," says Mosher." "The poorest in our country are still in the top 10 percent in the world in riches because we have so much available to us and these children have nothing."
With a little help and a few shoeboxes, these children will have something to look forward to on Christmas.