[Episcopal News Service] For many orphans and disadvantaged children throughout Europe, being able to open a gift on Christmas Day is merely a dream.
Love in a Box, a ministry of the American Cathedral in Paris, is committed to changing that reality. For more than a decade, the ministry has helped to put a smile on the faces of children who often have very little to smile about.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, several packing shifts are organized by coordinators Judy Nicault and Betsi Dwyer with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and volunteers from local schools loading boxes and backpacks with practical gifts, a few fun items, and some candy. This year, the final count of 3,218 boxes and backpacks is a record.
Didier Chastagnier from The Salvation Army drives the 12-hour round trip from Strasbourg to Paris and parks his van outside the American Cathedral on the first Sunday in Advent.
At the end of the service the choir and congregation take the boxes and process out of the cathedral to Chastagnier’s van where the gifts are loaded ready for distribution to European countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
— Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.