12,000 ADRA-UK Shoeboxes
Head to Burkina Faso

Nationwide effort brings 
relief to needy students. (Posted January 10, 2012)

BY VICTOR HULBERT, British Union Conference News

Mac couldn’t be happier. “Most days I’m loading my truck to make rich people richer. Today I’m transporting happiness,” he said, beaming, while carefully swinging a 40-foot container up from the ADRA compound on Stanborough Park, Watford, onto the back of his truck.

CONTAINERS FOR CHILDREN: Mac lifting the first of two containers headed out to cheer children in Burkina Faso. [PHOTOS: BUC].
ADRA-UK CEO Bert Smit was visibly excited as he watched the containers being loaded on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. “So many people, and especially schoolchildren, have made this happen,” he stated, noting that there were 4,000 more shoeboxes than in the 2011 appeal. “People are so generous, even when feeling the pinch themselves.”

That generosity has been seen across the country. In Middlesbrough 167 boxes were collected at the Adventist church, while a further 202 were donated by children at a local primary school. Judy Hamilton-Johansson states, “This is the sixth year (2012) the school has taken part in our annual shoebox appeal. The kids are so keen to help others, and get really excited about making the boxes, after watching the ADRA DVD and realizing how little the children of Africa have, many used their own pocket money to buy gifts.”

Hamilton-Johansson noted that getting an article published in her local newspaper really helped. She says, “I had people knocking at my door with boxes.”

Leamington Spa Mission found members of all ages bringing their creative skills to the fore on Sabbath afternoon, November 10, 2012, sorting, wrapping, and packing, as well as providing transportation donations. Nigel Clark notes that it was a fun community activity, with the energy levels “maintained with the provision of hot mince pies and mulled juice.”

In central London Claudia Passer rejoiced, “Praise God, we managed to make 104 complete boxes. However, they got so excited and want to go for 200 next year.”

CONTAINER SEALED: ADRA program officer Kennedy Habasimbi seals the container. Next time the door opens will be with ADRA representatives in Burkina Faso.
They are representative of hundreds of churches and volunteers who have made this year’s appeal the most successful to date. A child from Manchester stated, “We saw your video, and we wanted to do shoeboxes to make more little kids happy.” Not put off by the frost the previous Sunday morning, another volunteer stated, “When I saw the number of shoeboxes being delivered, it was only then I realized how big the shoebox appeal has become.”

“The response from our members and friends has been phenomenal,” states appeal coordinator Godwin Benjamin. His thanks go not just to the donors, “but also the volunteers who packed boxes at the collection points and those who helped to unload the trucks and pack the two containers. All your efforts were greatly appreciated.”

Volunteers also played a part in the distribution in Burkina Faso. Five volunteers were selected from the applications received in response to an announcement on the ADRA-UK Web site. The volunteers traveled at their own expense, but were hosted while helping with the distribution. Mac’s smile was multiplied a hundredfold as these volunteers saw the joy a simple shoebox can bring.

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