Staff and volunteers from Keynsham Elim Church have been routinely travelling to the poverty stricken districts of Oradea, Romania for over 5 years. They work with a team of social workers at CASA Grace. Each year the church is involved in running a summer camp for children living poverty, helping install working water supplies and giving basic food aid to families in dire need. Now for the 6th year running, the team will be giving hope in the form of a shoe box full of Christmas presents to the poor children in Oradea who otherwise would not receive a present this Christmas.
The church had hoped they would be able to beat last year's total of 388 shoeboxes, but astonishingly, by the loving generosity of all those involved, the church have almost doubled that target and received over 750 shoe boxes! The number is still climbing as some shoe boxes are yet to be collected from some schools and local companies.
These shoe boxes will transported by lorry, some 1,300 miles to CASA Grace in Oradea, Romania. They will begin this long journey on Wednesday 23rd November when the shoe boxes will be transported from Keynsham Elim Church to a depot in Cardiff and driven to CASA Grace in Oradea. Then on Thursday 8th December a team from Keynsham Elim Church will travel to Romania to hand deliver as many of the shoe boxes as possible, with the help of the CASA Grace team, to children living in poverty in the region. Working alongside translators the team will be able to talk and give the gift of hope to the local families, taking pictures and video footage which they hope to share with you after their return home on the 12th December.
The delivery date of the shoe boxes roughly coincides with the traditional Christmas gift-giving day in Romania on December 6th; St. Nicolas Day. On this day in Romania, families would traditionally give and receive gifts, similar to 25th December Christmas celebrations held here in the UK. However, the families who CASA Grace support would never partake in the giving of gifts on this day as they can't afford this. But this is where your shoe boxes and your love and kindness makes the difference.
The church would like to personally thank every single individual that has taken the time, effort and money to produce a shoe box which will change a life this Christmas. In particular, the church would like to thank some organisations that have invested time and effort to produce multiple shoe boxes for the appeal:
- Margaret & Friends
- Close Farm Surgery
- Sarah Morton & work colleagues
- Elaine Morton & Wiltshire Council
- Brown Owl, Lindsay McKirgan & 3rd Weston-super-Mare Brownies
- Emma Lincoln & 1st Worle Guides
- Susan Hynam & friends
- Culverhill School
- Chandag Primary School
- Kingswood Health Centre
- Elim Church Toddlers
- Kick Start Health, Fitness Academy
- Trehopcyn Primary in Pontypridd
- Everyone at Keynsham Elim Church
Thank you everyone that has made a shoe box this year - every single shoe box opened will bring a smile to a child's face this Christmas and give them a new lease of life! So once again we say a 'HUGE THANK YOU!'.Read about our Romania missions