MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Marjorie Andrews packed a pink glass beaded bracelet for an underprivileged little girl as part of an annual holiday activity at the Sarah Neuman Center in Mamaroneck.
Elderly residents, like Andrews, created 25 hand-decorated shoe boxes and personally crafted cards holding a special note for the underprivileged children around the world who will receive them.
"My mother raised me to help others at all times," said Midlred Cortalano, another resident at Sarah Neuman. "She always believed that we should take care of each other and I've dedicated my life to aiding others, so this was a natural fit for me. My heart goes out to families who can't provide Christmas presents for their children and I hope these goody-filled shoe boxes bring holiday cheer to the kids that receive them."
Gifts like those created have made a big difference for Luba Travis, a coordinator for Operation Christmas, the event organizer. "I lived in an orphanage for seven years," she said. "I grew up feeling like no one loved me, that I wasn't cared about. I felt my parents didn't even love me enough to keep me and I woke up every morning saying I wish I wasn't even born. Getting this shoe box of goodies impacted my life in more ways that you can imagine."
Sarah Neuman Center staff, volunteers and families contributed toy cars and trucks for little boys and frilly dolls for little girls. Other gifts included balls, bracelets, hair clips, note pads, coloring books, and educational items like story books.
Operation Christmas Child, the international relief charity, distributes these, along with many other shoe boxes, to countries around the globe.
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