Shoeboxes To Bring Christmas Joy for Filipino Kids

Perth Charity Buckets For Jesus will be using the Christmas gift of giving when they distribute 2,000 Shoeboxes in the Philippines following their successful Shoeboxes For Jesus campaign.

Street children, orphans and children in Haiyan (Typhoon in the Philippines) affected regions are among those who will be receiving these Shoeboxes as their Christmas presents.

The goal of the Shoeboxes For Jesus campaign is to supply the street children with their educational needs.

Mandatory items for each shoebox were school supplies such as a notebook and stationeries.

Other items placed in shoeboxes varied, from clothes, toys and hygiene supplies, ensuring that the child that receives it will be able to go to school.

Education is free of charge in the Philippines, and street children are not fussed about walking for kilometres to get to school.

However, many of their families live in poor conditions such as slums and under the bridge and therefore are unable to afford school supplies and public transport fares.

“These poor kids stay out of school due to lack of school supplies which they cannot afford (they can barely eat one meal a day),” said Buckets For Jesus co-ordinator Ruby Soh.

“Hence, the objective of Shoeboxes for Jesus is to aim at this angle to ensure they are in school next term.”

The concept for the project came about when Nedlands mothers Sherita Rodrigo and Raewyn Carter were inspired by the Soh’s mission photos of them ministering to street children.

Mrs Carter’s initial plan of contributing 70 Shoeboxes was widely expanded as successful campaigning ensured that the Sohs’ target of 1,000 Shoeboxes last year was achieved.

The Shoeboxes were distributed at Youth With A Mission Cebu’s annual Jesus Fiesta, which unites all the street children that they and Buckets For Jesus have been ministering to for this event.

YWAM is headed by the Sohs’ former nanny Lucille Ebrado, who was with them when they were living in Singapore.

The successful 2013 Shoeboxes For Jesus campaign motivated Buckets For Jesus to do it again for the second consecutive year.

Their aim is to double last year’s amount of shoeboxes and thanks to all the prayers, rallying and support, the target of 2,000 Shoeboxes was reached.

1,500 of the Shoeboxes are due to arrive in the Philippines this week via a sea container sent from Perth and the remaining 500 from Singapore.

The Soh’s are grateful for all the support and donors towards this year’s campaign and believe that their charity work with Haiyan victims over the past year made the campaign go viral.

“Many were touched by the plight of the poor children, some were victims of disasters that we have shared to our friends and mailing list who receive updates about our mission work or through Buckets for Jesus website”, Mrs Soh explained.

“The photos are vivid and we take them home to share to all with the hope of rallying more support to help the needy. Pope Francis has also inspired many to help the poor and every small gestures of kindness add up.”

Greenwood’s Liwarra Catholic Primary School,  Karrinyup’s Our Lady Of Good Counsel Primary School, Loreto Nedlands, Willetton’s Saints John and Paul Parish and Gosnells’ Our Lady Of The Most Blessed Sacrament Parish all contributed many Shoeboxes to the campaign.

Many of them arrived with car and van loads of Shoeboxes the Buckets For Jesus’ Subiaco premises.

Local Community Centres and Church groups contributed to the campaign and people have asked if the campaign will happen again in 2015, and it is expected to.

Ruby Soh and her husband Mike will depart for a mission in the Philippines this week, which will coincide with the arrival of the container from Perth.

They plan to spend their week and a half stint distributing the Shoeboxes and other donations which will make a difference in many lives in the many affected areas of typhoon this coming Christmas.

If you’re looking to make a difference this Christmas Season and spread some Christmas joy not just in Australia but overseas, contact Buckets For Jesus, visit www.bucketsforjesus.org or email bucketsforjesus@gmail.com.