I started the ShoeBox project in my family in 2007, trying to teach our boy to share his toys and clothes with other poor children from the building. We then went around locally, in the Cluj Napoca ar ... ea (we used to “advertise” the campaign through yahoo messenger statuses and email groups), gaining momentum, to the point when we got to 30,669 boxes in 2013, from Romanians in 8 countries, 66 cities and 107 locations. I think the ShoeBox project is a tiny attempt to make the world a better place. We try to put a smile on the face of underprivileged children every year, in the cities we live in. We can find children or teenagers who are alone, hungry, cold and abandoned on every street corner if we look hard enough. We won’t save the world with shoeboxes full of sweets and other things but I think we will learn, in time, to think about what we have and not about what we still want. We will learn to cherish the pillow we rest our head on every night or the scarf around our neck. We will learn to laugh in the face of life and grab our future by the horns. The ShoeBox experience, for me, is a life lesson, repetitive, consistent and undoubtable that Romanians are wonderful people! We kept getting care packages for years after the revolution in ’89. We were in awe about the fact that strangers cared about us, strangers who lived far away. We didn’t know why they would care about the fate of people who live in Romania. I’ve come to think that if I don’t give to the person next to me, I will become poor with pockets full of money and bitter with a pantry full of apples. The old saying says that some things are “the gift that keeps on giving” and ShoeBox is the gift that can change a poor child’s reality for Christmas. I would like to thank all of you who, through a box full of sweets, have brought joy to a child’s heart and have allowed light and emotion to encompass Romania and Romanians outside the country. Let’s move forward … Valentin Read more
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