Michelle Mandaro and her Family fill Shoeboxes with Holiday Gifts for Underprivileged Children
By Sally Deering
Not all shoeboxes are the same; some hold heels, some hold sneakers; while still others hold toothbrushes, combs, socks and a whole lot of love.
Since 1993, more than 100 million children have received shoeboxes through Operation Christmas Child, a project from the Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse (www.samaritanspurse.com) with more than 100,000 volunteers creating and distributing the shoeboxes filled with trinkets to put a smile on a child’s face Christmas morning.
Operation Christmas Child brings shoeboxes filled with trinkets – both the necessary and the fun kind – to underprivileged children throughout the country. Participating for the fifth year are Michelle Mandaro – owner of Amelia’s Bistro in Jersey City – her 9 year-old son Alexander, and 7 year-old daughter Emilie.
“My sister-in-law Fortune Mandaro has been doing it for 20 years,” Michelle Mandaro says. “This is my fifth year doing it with my my children. Last year we created 54 shoeboxes and this year we’re making 60. My kids love shopping for the boxes they love stuffing the boxes, they write letters to the children and they receive letters back.”