Operation Christmas Child is funding programs in Haiti that help children maintain their health in difficult circumstances.
August, 2012 – Maribellin has never packed an Operation Christmas Child shoebox—and she has likely never received one, either. But thanks to generous Canadian Operation Christmas Child donors, Maribellin and her tiny daughter, Erlin, are thriving after a difficult start to the baby’s life.
At one month old, Erlin weighed only 1.6 kg and was unable to complete a sucking motion with her mouth, which resulted in dehydration and severe undernourishment.
While many children around the world are excitedly opening their brightly colored Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts, other little ones are struggling to survive. That’s why Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, supports programs that help children thrive in difficult circumstances.
Erlin’s chances for survival in Haiti’s Cite Soleil, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest neighborhood, were dim without the medical clinic run by Samaritan’s Purse and partially funded by its Operation Christmas Child project.
Admitted to the clinic and loaned a breast pump, Maribellin began the long process of coaxing Erlin to drink using a tiny syringe. Her persistence paid off, and Erlin was able to drink small amounts of milk. Maribellin received training and instruction about caring for Erlin, and was able to take her baby home, along with a breast pump on loan from the clinic.
The only facility in Cite Soleil that provides free health care and medication, clinic staff see about 150 patients per day. Up to 75 per cent of them are children, which is why Operation Christmas Child is funding a program at the clinic that treats children under five with malnutrition. The program includes distributing multivitamins and supplying medication to prevent intestinal worms.
Last year, Operation Christmas Child sent 75,000 gift-filled shoe boxes to children in Haiti, as part of continuing work Samaritan’s Purse is doing there. Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes give Samaritan’s Purse and its partners the opportunity to:
- connect with communities;
- share God’s love through shoe boxes full of gifts;
- establish relationships with families and churches, and;
- see whether there are other ways we can help the community
Your financial gifts enable us to help the poorest of the poor, including tiny, thriving Erlin, which is how Jesus taught us to live.