4 Morning Thought

Thursday October 5th

When I look at photos from last year’s pensioners’ Christmas shoebox distribution in one village, I remember it was a bitterly cold day, with snow on the ground. I remember all the pensioners had cold hands when they squeezed my hand in gratitude, but they had bright smiles on their faces for they thought it was well worth the cold walk to collect a Christmas shoebox.

Like countless other charities Mustard Seed Jersey began distributing Christmas shoeboxes to children, but soon we became aware that the neediest group in Romania are the pensioners and so we wanted to help them. We run a sponsorship programme which benefits approaching 100 very needy pensioners with monthly food parcels.

Each year we receive and distribute approximately 1000 shoeboxes to needy pensioners as well as approximately 2000 for children. I have felt tears come to my eyes countless times as an old person has wept with joy and amazement at being given a shoebox, sometimes saying they had never been given a present before.

I remember one family from last December. The grandmother came to collect her small grandson from kindergarten, and he was delightedly showing his shoebox. He then waited with his grandmother for the pensioners meeting that met in the same building about an hour after kindergarten ended. At the end both Grandmother and grandson left smiling broadly and each clutching a Christmas shoebox from Jersey.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke of doing small things with great love as she lived out her Christian faith. A Christmas shoebox is a small thing – but to the recipient it is HUGE.

Can I encourage you to pick up a leaflet from the parish hall and consider packing a Christmas shoebox, knowing you will bring great joy to the recipient and invariably as you give you will receive a sense of reward and satisfaction.


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