In September 2010, during nursing exams for each orphan, Bruce Marchiano was assisting the medical team and noticed a little girl whose toes had literally grown through the fronts of her shoes. Obviously they were the only shoes she had, so she just continued to wear them. And she was one of the more fortunate kids, for very few of them had shoes at all. He snapped a photo without anyone knowing, without telling anyone…
The shoes that launched a ministry of provision and compassion.
The heart of MarchMin worker and board member, Sally Herman, was pierced for these kids, and she immediately launched an initiative to get all them all shoes by Christmas. She launched a “Christmas Shoes” Facebook page and Marchiano’s photo illustrating the problem was posted. Facebook supporters immediately jumped on board…saying in unison ‘we need to help these kids’. It was this photo that launched the “Christmas Shoes” ministry of provision and compassion that now continues far beyond shoes… not only in education and counseling, but meeting all their physical needs.
Christmas Shoes founder, Sally Herman being met with big smiles and bigger hugs
Through the generosity of Marchiano Ministries supporters and “Christmas Shoes” Facebook followers, over 700 pairs of shoes were donated and hand delivered by Christmas!
Then the next goal was set, seven pairs of underwear for each child, dental supplies, vitamins and a continuous supply of food! Again the “Christmas Shoes” family came through. Too much to hand carry, the large shipment steamed across the ocean and was met by ministry workers who distributed the contents into needy hands. They also followed up prior counseling sessions with a more intensive teaching and mentoring programs.
The next goal was backpacks and school supplies… mission accomplished!
Then: socks, scarves, hats and gloves (yes, they do have winter)… the goal was set and duffle bags of hand carried winter goodies were delivered!
The Christmas 2012 challenge placed before the “Christmas Shoes” family was a daunting one –providing each school girl with one or more hand-crafted “pillowcase dresses”. Pillowcases, fabrics and trims were being purchased and assembled by Christmas Shoes Crafters across the globe all met the challenge by the November 2012 deadline for a Christmas delivery.
And, for each schoolboy, we are collecting “fun” T-shirts.