Christmas 2012 “Shoe Box” Gift Distribution to Roma children

Roma children are not used to receiving gifts at Christmas, or at any other time of the year for that matter. It’s a hard fact of their young lives that standards are low, life is hard, and if there’s ever any money around, it will go to buy food (or far too often cigarettes or alcohol for the adults).

How wonderfully satisfying was it then for us to be able to be a blessing and the hands of Jesus during this Christmas season by bringing the children Christmas “shoe box” gift packages that had been sent to our area from humanitarian-minded families and children living in western Europe!

Churches and concerned individuals in the west choose whether they want to help a needy boy or girl, and what age group, and then stuff the “shoe box” as full as they can with all sorts of goodies from scarves, gloves, and sock hats to toys, stickers, and of course lots of chocolate and candy. It’s  amazing to watch their little faces light up as they receive their gift box and sift through its contents.

We are looking forward to our 2013 project of bringing our character-building and life skills curriculum to these same children. There is a glaring lack of training amongst Roma children in basic courtesy, manners, and what could be summarized as “character”. Imagine though a Roma community where the residents received character-building training as children in such areas as: sharing, giving, honesty, teamwork, and conflict-resolution! How much easier would it be for such a community to work together in harmony, resolve problems when encountered, integrate with main-stream society, and elevate their status and economic standing?

We welcome this challenge in 2013, with your help!

To view the following photos on Healing Hearts Balkans Facebook page here.

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