CRACIUN Fericit means Happy Christmas in Romanian and a Stratford couple have helped spread festive goodwill to scores of Romanian families by delivering 350 shoeboxes filled with gifts to one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Malcolm and Anne McCulloch — who are both members of Stratford Baptist Church — have just finished an emotional journey handing out shoeboxes to gypsy and Roma families who never get presents at Christmas because they simply can’t afford them.
The humble boxes that the couple delivered with other volunteers contain soap, toothpaste, sweets, toys and something for each member of the recipient family.
They were donated by the kind generosity of people in Stratford from schools to private individuals and businesses.
Food parcels were also distributed and the couple said they’d been deeply touched by the grateful response from complete strangers who, for a brief moment in time, became friends for life.
The shoebox appeal has been run internationally for several year, but this was the first time the McCullochs had been involved.
And there were episodes — as Malcolm admits — when the gift of giving became hard to bear.
“We visited a special needs school to distribute shoeboxes and the children began to sing traditional Christmas songs to us in Romanian,” said Malcolm.
“These people don’t get the level of financial and emotional support ordinary schools do and to see the joy in the children’s faces brought a lump to my throat.
“Then we helped them unwrap their shoeboxes.”
mai mult la :