Â Â Michelle Mandaro and her Family fill Shoeboxes with Holiday Gifts for Underprivileged Children
Â 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 Samaritanâ€™s Purse (www.samaritanspurse.com) with more than 100,000 volunteers creating and distributing the shoeboxes Â filled with trinkets to put a smile on a childâ€™s face Christmas morning.
Operation Christmas Child brings shoeboxes filled with trinkets â€“ both the necessary and the fun kind â€“ to underprivileged children throughout the country. Participating for the fifth year are Michelle Mandaro â€“ owner of Ameliaâ€™s Bistro in Jersey City â€“ her 9 year-old son Alexander, and 7 year-old daughter Emilie.
â€œMy sister-in-law Fortune Mandaro has been doing it for 20 years,â€ Michelle Mandaro says.Â â€œThis is my fifth year doing it with my my children. Last year we created 54 shoeboxes and this year weâ€™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.â€