"She couldn’t get the smile off her face"

December 9, 2013

by Dan Franklin, Shoebox Distribution Team Member

Dan delivers his Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoebox to a Haitian girl, and is blessed by the experience.

Dan scanned the room, his gift-filled shoebox in hand. In faraway Winnipeg, he and his family had carefully filled that box with gifts—and he was looking for the child to give it to.

The local church in a little town in rural Haiti had organized this shoebox distribution. Kids were singing and dressed in their best clothes when Dan and his friends arrived.

“The pastor invited me to share something with the children,” Dan said. “I told them that we were excited to show God’s love to them through shoebox gifts.”

As Dan looked across the room, he waited for a five to nine-year-old girl to smile at him, or indicate that he was holding her gift. Who should he give it to?

That’s when he saw an older girl who looked very sad—and he placed that gift in her arms.

“Even then, she smiled a bit, but didn’t seem to cheer up,” Dan remembered. Because he only spoke English, the Canadian called the translator over, who helped Dan explain:

“I shared that my family had packed the gift-filled shoebox just for her,” Dan recalled. “I dug out the picture I had packed of our family.”

As Dan pointed out his daughters, and shared how old they were, a grin lit up the little Haitian girl’s face. Her name, Dan later learned, is Allisondrol.

“After we sat and talked together, she couldn’t get the smile off her face,” Dan fondly remembered. “Even though we only spent a short time with the children, our team was blessed that day.”