Woman Says Shoebox Gift Changed Her Life - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Woman Says Shoebox Gift Changed Her Life

Posted: Updated:

by Shannon Royster

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Just as quickly as the seasons change, so can the circumstances of our lives.

Oksana Nelson grew up in an Russian orphanage. While there, she received a present.

"It was my first gift in my entire life," said Nelson. "My first gift that someone gave me that made me realize I am special and I am loved."

That first gift began to reshape her future at the age of nine, and it came in the form of a small shoebox. It's all a part of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse.

"The shoeboxes go to children in over 130 countries around the world," said Cherilyn Word, a collection site coordinator. "These are children who have nothing."

Hundreds of boxes were dropped off at the Goodlettsville Church of the Nazarene. It's one of several collection sites around Nashville.

The boxes are filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. A simple toothbrush was Nelson's favorite.

"I know that sounds silly, but in the orphanage we all shared one toothbrush," said Nelson. "Whenever I looked in that box and saw my own toothbrush and toothpaste, I couldn't ask for much of anything else."

Except for a family, and later that same year Nelson's prayers were answered.

"All of a sudden my future looked a lot brighter than it was prior to this gift," Nelson said.

Her new parents moved Nelson to the United States, she became a national spokesperson for Operation Christmas Child and she even placed in the top 10 in the Miss Tennessee pageant.

So though it may not seem like much, the gifts in those shoeboxes being shipped off all around the world mean so much more.

"Not only did I receive this gift, but I learned to pray," said Nelson. "Once I started doing that every morning I had a reason to wake up."

Along with a good reason to become a blessing to others.

If you would like to pack up a shoebox for a young boy or girl you still have time. The last pickup date is Monday, November 25.

For more information on the project and for a list of collection sites click here.

Email: sroyster@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5ShannonRoyster
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_SRoyster

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.