A Peruvian Christmas

I’m very lucky to have some really great neighbors! Paul is originally from Peru and most of his family still lives there. One Christmas their family decided to visit Grandma in Peru. When his wife, Melissa, saw the poverty there and all the homeless children, she vowed to make a change. For the next year, they planned and saved in order to take their whole family (4 awesome kids; Ashli, Shanda, Alex and Cariella!) to Peru at Christmas but with a twist. In order to help down there, the kids had a choice to make: Christmas for themselves or Christmas for others. They very unselfishly decided to bring some cheer to their dad’s hometown and when word got out about their decision, many, many people donated stockings, fillers, candy, etc to their cause. Quilts Beyond Borders teamed up with them as well and we opened up a new continent with this trip, South America!

 

On a snowy, wintery day in December, the kids and Melissa came to the house to load up 30 bundles of sunshine to take in their suitcases to some children who really needed the love.

As you can see, we had a good time sucking all the air out of them so more would fit in the suitcases and duffle bags (the best part was using the vacuum to squish them down. They thought that was the coolest thing EVER!!!)

  

The end result? A stack higher than Cariella!!

Being an empty nester, it was so heartening to have them in my home and to see and feel their excitement about something that they’re not even getting to keep but willingly sharing with someone they don’t even know, have never met and will probably never see again! That’s what Christmas is really all about, right?

Once they arrived in Peru, they found a private orphanage that is only funded with donations, no government funding. All of the children here have been abused and range in age from children barely walking to midteens. Just having visitors made it a special day for them but when they were handed a quilt and a stocking with sweets in it, I’m sure it was the most memorable Christmas they’ve ever had!

It was also memorable for my neighbors. Just like the man who saved the starfish one at a time, they made a difference in a child’s life, one at a time. In a talk at church after they returned, young Alex said, “Skipping our Christmas to help other kids was challenging to do but I felt we should go to Peru and help the kids there. Doing this made me happy and it made me proud helping other kids.”  I hope all of you can share that happiness because if QBB didn’t have you and your unselfish acts of kindness, children all over the world in already heartbreaking situations would never know the kindness of strangers. I like to think of all these quilts as little dots of light scattered throughout the world, little pinpricks of love!

Thank you so much!

Smiles,

Sandi

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One Response to “A Peruvian Christmas”

  1. Joy mcauley Says:

    Heartfelt story. Wonderful to do for others, especially those in dire need and also for children. They are our future.

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