LIHUE — The truck was pulling up as Jacqueline Scarola walked up with her box bulging with goodies Monday afternoon.
“This is the last box,” said Christina Ensman, Kauai area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, as boxes were stacked outside the Breath of Life church in Lihue. “The truck is already coming to pick up whatever boxes have been packed.”
And those boxes broke a record.
Mike Ensman, Christina’s husband, said volunteers from around the island helped surpass the goal of 2,000 boxes.
“The previous high was 750 boxes,” Mike said. “I think at last count we’ve gotten 2,050 boxes.”
The individual shoeboxes were packed into master cartons, 128 at last count, where they will be shipped via Aloha Airlines Cargo to the Operation Christmas Child West Region for distribution to needy children.
“Aloha Airlines Cargo is donating their service in getting the boxes out,” Mike said. “Matson Navigation also offered their services as a donation, too.”
Christina said the boxes from Kauai will be earmarked for the Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia and the Ukraine.
Each box is packed with gifts for children, including toys, school supplies and hygiene items.
“I would love to see more of the boxes go to the Philippines, especially since parts of the country were impacted by the recent typhoon. It’s nice to know that some of the boxes will be going to the Philippines,” she said.
Scarola was pleased her box will be going to a little girl in Nepal.
“I have an intern who is working with me who just got back from Nepal following a tour with the Peace Corps,” Scarola said.
Coordinated through Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, more than 100 million boys and girls in more than 130 countries have received shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.