Written by Sylvia St. Cyr
The Chief of Police noticed a significant drop in crime after Operation Christmas Shoeboxes were distributed in his community.
In 2015, Garry Krushel, the Logistics Coordinator for Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba, and his adult daughter went on a distribution trip to El Salvador.
“Another way of telling us how important shoeboxes and the delivery of them, the delivery of God’s love into these kids lives is, was told to us this way. We were at a small rally in one community where they had invited the Chief of Police to speak.”
Krushel, his daughter, and a team of 12 people from OCC joined in the rally.
“The officer said they had specifically noticed that once shoeboxes were distributed in their community, he noticed things like crime rate and kids getting in to trouble started to drop. He directly attributed it to the work of Operation Christmas Child and the delivery of those shoeboxes.”
Krushel says giving shoeboxes affects “not just the individual but their family and friends, and the community in general. It’s pretty far-reaching.”
Going on a trip like this was one that Krushel’s daughter dreamed about.
“My interest was sparked and I knew my daughter had said she wanted to go on a distribution trip if that ever came up. I contacted her and asked if she would consider this and she immediately said yes.”
Lindsay, Krushel’s daughter, was 30-years-old at the time.
“You’re apart of a team of people that are all there for the exact reason you, a team of like-minded people,” says Krushel.
Father and daughter participated in three different distribution days as well as a graduation ceremony for the 12-week program that Samaritans Purse offers. When kids graduate from The Greatest Journey program they receive a full-colour Bible and certificate of completion.
“The excitement that the kids have during the distribution and graduation is quite wonderful to observe,” he says.
While Krushel couldn’t speak the children’s language, having fun surpassed that barrier.
“For about an hour you have time with the kids to play. We brought along a few pieces of sports equipment like a soccer ball, frisbee, and big parachute. Language at that point isn’t all that important, as the kids are just so happy to be able to participate.”
He shares that the gratitude from the community was palpable. Krushel encourages anyone who is thinking of going on a distribution trip in the future to do it.