Christmas gifts for the children of Mission Programs of Miami Shores Presbyterian Church started with an idea of our Deacons. On the Mission Trip in September 2010 to Getsemani, El Salvador with Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC, I asked the Habitat for Humanity El Salvador staff, “Would this be something they would want?” I got an overwhelming “yes.”
The decision was made to send one-third of the Christmas Shoe Boxes filled with toys to the El Salvador children. We received 42 boxes, plus stuffed animals, which include a collection from Paul Barko, our late custodian, and new books in Spanish donated by Southern Book Service, owned by Leslie Sardinia and her husband. The Missions Committee got the gifts together and with the help of Jim Gregory delivered them for shipping the second week of November. Southern Book Service also handled the shipping.
When the gifts arrived in El Salvador, we learned that due to an error in the last name of the recipient Fed Ex and Customs would not release the gifts. When on vacation in Williamsburg, VA, I watched my Facebook each day hoping for good news. Following several attempts to meet the Customs requirements, we learned they would release the toys.
The gifts were received just after Christmas. The women created gifts for 115 children from what we sent. Emma, one of the women in Getsemani, organized the distribution of the toys to the excited children. The children joyfully thank MSPC for remembering them and making their Christmas so special.
My best Christmas present was to learn that the children had received their gift boxes. The idea had become a reality. I had met these beautiful children and had seen the need. I believe the women of the Getsemani community multiplied what we sent, much like Jesus with the loaves and fishes that fed the multitudes. May God bless each of you in the New Year for your generosity and love.
— Nora Tenney, Missions Committee