Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

Reaching the unreachable

Esther visits the home of a shoebox recipient

Eight-year-old Kevin has been blessed with a Canadian-packed Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Meanwhile, the Canadian woman who gave him the box, Esther Fung, has been “blessed” with new insight into how hard life can be for children in the developing world.

“Just seeing the conditions they live in was a reality shock,” says the Toronto resident.

Esther was part of a special trip to Costa Rica, organized by Samaritan’s Purse for Canadians with such a strong interest in Operation Christmas Child that they were willing to pay most of their own travel expenses to help distribute shoeboxes.

After a distribution event in Kevin’s community, Esther had an opportunity to visit his home and meet his four siblings and their mother, Margarita.

“She was very hospitable and let Kevin show us different places in the house,” Esther says. “It was very dark and humid and I was surprised to see so many people in such a small living space, just two rooms-a living room and a tiny kitchen. It was smaller than a 600-square-foot Toronto condo.”

Outside the home, while traffic rumbles by on a nearby street, Esther thinks about what she’s just seen.

“I don’t think I could live in those conditions. I would probably get sick.”

Is the children’s father working to improve their situation? When asked, Margarita quietly reveals that she is a single mother: “I get $60 a week to pay for everything. It’s not enough.”

Esther paints the face of a child in Costa Rica

That’s why she is so thankful for shoebox gift given to Kevin.

Esther is also grateful for how Samaritan’s Purse is, in her words, “reaching the unreachable. How are Canadians supposed to find these people? Samaritan’s Purse is able to see past the beaches and tourism of Costa Rica and help people who don’t even have the money to buy stuff we Canadians don’t value.”

Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

Please donate $10 for every shoebox you prepare. Your donations will help cover project costs, including shipping (make one combined donation for multiple shoeboxes). Consider making an additional donation to help Samaritan's Purse go beyond the shoebox and expand assistance to children, their families, and their communities. Samaritan's Purse does not provide receipts for the value of gift items included in a shoebox.