SmilePacks®: A Beautiful Expression in Sierra Leone

11/12/09

A bar of soap. A box of colored pencils. A bag of marbles. A small notebook. None of these items are hard to come by…in America. But for many of the orphaned and destitute children in the world, these small luxuries are nonexistent.

“Even basic toiletries essential to the children’s welfare are very expensive," said Samuel Ngoneh, Children of the Nations–Sierra Leone Resource Coordinator. "The parents of the community kids have great difficulty buying even a small tube of toothpaste.”

Children of the Nations (COTN) answers their need with SmilePacks®. A SmilePack is a backpack, shoebox, or a gallon-size zip-top bag filled with small items that will bring a smile to a child’s face. SmilePacks each focus on a theme—hygiene, school, or Christmas, for example—and directly benefit the children.

Samuel recently recounted his feelings after distributing SmilePacks to the kids on their first day of school: “We have an obligation to encourage our children, particularly in the area of education, so we appreciate those who donated these School SmilePacks. The children were so pleased to be blessed with these packs. One of the girls, Jemeba, said, ‘All that is in the SmilePack is useful to me.’”

“The whole idea of SmilePacks is that these are the core things that the kids will always need,” said Dave Schertzer, COTN–USA Resource Director. Dave keeps track of the material needs of each of our countries and posts specific requests every few months on the Needs List. But SmilePacks, he said, are needed continually.

“You can imagine how happy children are to receive items like scented soap, flavored toothpaste, and beautiful hand towels,” said Samuel. “We thank God for touching the lives of His people and causing them to give.”

SmilePacks are items that will always be useful and appreciated. As Dave said, “People could send SmilePacks all day long; I’d be happy.”

To learn more about sending SmilePacks®, click here.