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Little Boxes Make a Big Impact

By Alyssa Kerrigan

Imagine waking up on Christmas morning to a decorated tree, but with no gifts waiting under it with your name on them. Or maybe waking up to no tree at all. For Mrs. Sati, it was a gift enough to have a caring family and food to eat.


A finished Christmas box. Photo by Alyssa Kerrigan

As a fourteen-year-old girl living in Romania, Sati, a latin teacher at Waynesboro High School, received one of the gift-stuffed, red and green shoe boxes provided by an organization called Operation Christmas Child. OCC sends shoe boxes full of Christmas gifts to underprivileged children around the world. The children that receive these boxes may come from poor families, or may not otherwise receive any gifts for Christmas.

Sati wants to share her experience and provide gifts to other children around the world, filling them with the same excitement she received as a child. “I would love to see their faces,” said Sati, “I would love to be there and see the excitement on their faces.” She, as someone with firsthand experience of receiving a box, wants to bring happiness to children’s lives.

When she received the shoe box, Sati recalls excitedly looking through all the items in the package, carefully handling the special gifts. She remembers receiving things like hair bows and brushes, little girly things such as those. It was not the actual presents that mattered most to her, but the thought that was put into the gift. “I was happy because I thought, ‘Somebody’s thinking of me from far away, from another country, somebody I don’t even know. Somebody wanted to bless me and make a gift for me,’” Sati said. For Christmas, Sati’s family usually received things like fresh fruits, and foods that weren’t always available to them, so the shoe box was a treat.

Six years ago, Sati started filling  boxes at home with her daughters. And about two years later, she brought the idea of Operation Christmas Child to WHS. Her class loved the suggestion, especially when Sati told them that she had been a recipient of a Christmas box.

The first year WHS participated, the students were eager to help out. “The first year, we had very much interest from the students. They were so involved. The first year was such a brand new project for us. The students were extremely energetic and they collected donations and went shopping,” said Sati. The goal for this year was to fill sixty boxes, and when sixty-six were filled, Sati was overjoyed. She expects for this project to grow even more, and hopes that the number of boxes increases as well.


The Latin Club with shoeboxes. Photo provided by Mrs. Sati

Avery Paiste, a sophomore at WHS, is part of the Latin Club and has helped out with Operation Christmas Child. He explains what the project means to him and how it has built relationships between the members of the Latin Club. “It has definitely brought us together as a group, just doing tasks as a community brings us together,” said Paiste. He believes OCC is a great way for everybody to grow closer and for children around the world to have the opportunity to experience the magic of Christmas.

There’s a soft spot in Sati’s heart for this project and for the children receiving gifts through the organization. “For me personally, it’s like a wish that came true. It’s like a ripple effect. I was a person who received a shoe box, and then I worked with my little girls and made several boxes with them. And now I’m doing it with my students and they’re really happy!” She hopes Operation Christmas Child continues to grow and that students go on to support this cause later in life, even after they leave school.  

One Response to “Little Boxes Make a Big Impact”

  1. Avery Paiste says:

    On behalf of the Latin club I’d like to thank you for this. Great job and keep up the good work 🙂


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