Every year the New Philly Kids (our K-5th grade youth group at New Philadelphia Moravian in Winston-Salem, N.C.) participates in the Operation Christmas Child project. This year we wanted to more directly help our Moravian brothers and sisters who have been impacted by the hurricanes in the Caribbean.
With the help of the Board of World Mission and the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Eastern West Indies, we made contact with Eulencine Christopher in St. Croix, who helped direct our efforts in the islands.
Beginning with the initial announcement about the project at New Philadelphia, there was great excitement! While there have been many necessary and worthy relief efforts and initiatives related to the 2017 hurricane devastation, there is just something special about putting in the work of your own hands; physically offering your help and care. Bags and boxes of items to be included in the Christmas boxes began showing up at the church.
On Sunday, Nov. 12th the New Philly Kids gathered to fill the empty boxes with tangible gifts of love. The children were very intent on packing a box that would be perfect for the child that received it, with thought and care given to what each child might need and want. At the end of the day, the New Philly Kids had 56 boxes for the children of the Caribbean congregations!
However, with the vast challenges faced by our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean this Christmas, we believed we could offer more. Other congregations and groups were invited to join New Philadelphia in this effort. Soon, boxes and items started pouring in! In addition to boxes for the children, we also asked for family boxes with food and household items.
Members of New Philadelphia Moravian, Friedberg Moravian, Peace Moravian, First Presbyterian of High Point, N.C., even a local retirement community, jumped at the opportunity to make Christmas special for those whose lives had been affected by the hurricanes this year.
So what was the end result? When the US Postal Service truck rolled away, it was packed to the brim with 135 boxes for children and 70 boxes of food and household supplies for families—a total of 205 boxes, sent with our love and prayers for our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean!
Evie Blum is director of Christian Education for New Philadelphia Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C. In photo above, New Philadelphia youth pack gifts into boxes for children in the Caribbean.