To honor the holiday season, AuPairCare au pairs from greater Memphis, Tennessee decided to give back to their community and teamed up with Samaritan’s Purse via the Operation Christmas Child program. For almost 30 years, Operation Christmas Child has helped provide presents for over 146 million children in 150 different countries. The concept is simple, yet the program has a profound impact on children’s lives.
Volunteers find a shoebox and pack it with age-appropriate gifts that will be delivered to kids during the holiday period. Everyone in the au pair group agreed this would be a great project to participate in, since the au pairs represent six different countries across North America, Europe, South America, and South Africa. Colombian au pair Tatiana shared: “I feel that I've been blessed with this fulfilling experience of being an au pair, so I wanted to give something back. Few things in life can compare with the feeling that you were able to help somebody in need, and even better, the feeling you are giving hope and putting a smile on a kid’s face, especially on Christmas Eve.”
On a Sunday, the au pairs gathered at their local Dollar Tree to pick out presents a boy or girl would want or need for Christmas, thus beginning the first step of the shoebox project. Afterwards, they returned to the home of Kelcie Phillips, local AuPairCare Area Director from Germantown, to wrap the shoeboxes in Christmas paper and pack them with all the goodies the au pairs picked out at the store. The au pairs then registered their boxes online and couldn’t wait to find out where in the world the boxes would end up! The following day, the shoeboxes were delivered to Covenant Baptist Church in Collierville, Tennessee. From here, the packages would begin their journey across the world to land in the hands of a young child on Christmas Eve. The au pairs are always looking for an opportunity to volunteer, and they found such joy in being able to provide a little box of Christmas cheer to children in need. Mexican au pair Andrea shared her amazing experience: “It felt so good to make someone smile, especially a kid that might not receive any presents. Christmas is a beautiful time of the year and it’s important to share.”
Au Pair Sophia, also from Mexico, added: “Being part of this project was such a great experience and a fun way to help, while hanging out with my au pair friends! I think is cool to be able to see where your box is going to end. Also, I loved that I had the chance of making a kid’s Christmas extra special.”