July 14, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Former Orphan Shares her story of Hope to Palisades Residents

On Oct. 5, local Operation Christmas Child volunteers and community members met at Palisades Lutheran Church to celebrate the power of a simple gift. Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, has collected more than 100 million shoebox gifts since 1993. Through simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2013, with 16,000 coming from Greater Los Angeles.

At this event shoebox recipient, Livia Satterfield told her story of receiving a shoebox. Livia grew up in an orphanage in Romania. She took baths in dirty water, wore the same clothes for weeks at a time, and never celebrated a birthday. When she was younger, she asked for hair clips, but thought no one was listening. When Livia was 12-years-old, she received a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child. It was handed to her by Connie Satterfield, who was in Romania to help distribute the boxes. Livia ran to her as soon as she got off the bus, and never let her go. When Livia was told that the people who sent the boxes prayed for her and loved her, she asked, “How can people from thousands of miles away love me?â€

When she opened her box, at the very top was a set of hair clips. She was so excited she put every single one in her hair. She also found a heart necklace that had two halves. She gave Connie one half and told her to keep it, so maybe one day they could bring their hearts together. Not only did Livia get a shoebox, she got a family. Connie started the process of adopting her, and Livia was the last child to get out of Romania before they closed the adoptions. The night before she was adopted, she accepted Jesus as her Savior. Now, Livia packs shoe boxes every year to let every child know that someone thousands of miles away loves them.

This event was a kick off for the Pacific Palisades community. Inspiring them to pack more boxes.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to find the nearest drop-off site, call (714) 432-7030 or visit samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov.18–25; however, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.

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