Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Small boxes, huge heart: Woodland girl celebrates birthday by giving to children in need

Emily DeLacey collected more than 800 gifts at her recent "un-birthday" party, which will be packed into shoeboxes and shipped to children around the world through Operation Christmas Child. Courtesy photo

By Hiedi Andersen

WOODLAND — Books, lip balm, markers, sunglasses, shoes and toys sound like the fantastic end to any tween’s birthday party.

But for Woodlander Emily DeLacey, the table piled high with playing cards, socks, colored pencils and bouncy balls at her recent “almost” birthday party was just the start of a huge collection of items she requested, but not for herself. Instead, the request was on behalf of the thousands of children throughout the world in desperate situations.

Instead of asking for gifts for herself, Emily, a fifth-grade student at Woodland Christian School, requested that guests at her 11th “un-birthday” party bring small items that would fit into shoeboxes as part of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization.

“This is my sixth year packing boxes for children around the world,” said Emily, whose actual birthday falls so close to Thanksgiving that she decided to celebrate a few weeks early so friends could join in her philanthropic plans.

“It makes my heart happy when I think about the smiles on a child’s face when they open their boxes and find what I have packed for them,” she said.

Emily learned about Operation Christmas Child through school and her Girl Scout troop, No. 1416, which has packed boxes several times. Over the years, the girls in Emily’s troop have collected hundreds of items that some children do not have access to, such as toothpaste, soap, socks, toothbrushes, washcloths and hair brushes.

The special gifts are packaged in shoeboxes and delivered to 97 countries, including Ghana, Madagascar, Romania and Papua New Guinea.

“When I pack a shoebox, I imagine what the child’s face will look like and how excited he or she feels,” Emily said.

Last year, about 8.2 million shoeboxes were prepared worldwide, with more than 5.5 milllion shoeboxes filled in the United States. Emily’s “gifts” from her party will fill dozens of boxes as the 2012 OCC campaign swings into high gear.

The boxes Emily packs will include precious commodities for those in need. Her party netted her more than 800 gifts, including notebooks, coloring books and crayons, toys, pencils, markers, toothpaste and toothbrushes, decks of cards, shirts, hair brushes, socks, bracelets, lip balm, erasers, bouncy balls, hair accessories, washcloths and soaps.

“I feel so kind giving a shoebox to children around the world,” Emily said.

Operation Christmas Child began in 1990 in Wales, and was adopted by Samaritan’s Purse in 1993. Since then, more than 86 million shoebox gifts for needy children have been distributed. Some of the children who have benefited include young earthquake and cholera victims in Haiti; those affected by earthquakes in China; kids in the war-torn Republic of Georgia; schoolchildren attacked by terrorists in Besland, Russia; war orphans in Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia and Rwanda; and young survivors of the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

“One of the things that makes Operation Christmas Child so special is its emphasis on kids helping kids,” states the Samaritan’s Purse OCC web page. “This project provides a simple, tangible way for children and teenagers to join adults in sharing the joy of giving to children around the world at Christmas.”

Emily’s OCC party will help Samaritan’s Purse move closer to its 2012 goal of delivering more than 100 million boxes. Each year, Samaritan’s Purse receives gifts from Canada, Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Each of the boxes will be hand-delivered by Samaritan’s Purse and its national partners via bus, train, helicopter, boat, elephant, mule and even dog sled. With tracking technology, Emily and other donors will be able to find out exactly what country’s children have benefited from their generosity.

To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org.

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps, belches out electricity

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

 
Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis businesswoman presides over conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Fire damages Woodland home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Register to vote by May 19

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fire crews gather for joint training

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UFC hears from two local historians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Train to become a weather spotter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

UCD professor to talk about new book

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Will anyone notice?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
My votes reflect city values

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

I support Sunder for board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A plea on the Bard’s birthday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Sharing fire services has been a success

By Our View | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

Field to fork: El Macero’s chef offers spring tastes

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6