In Brazil, Jandira de Quadros distributed 200 gifts just in time for Christmas.
A teddy bear with a rip in the seam, or a doll in a torn dress, with dirty, unkempt hair. These are some of the used toys that arrive to be fixed at the home of 65-year-old Jandira de Quadros in Fazenda Rio Grande, near Curitiba, in southern Brazil.
Her place looks like a toy hospital. For Christmas 2022, in addition to restoring more than 300 items, Jandira also made caps, blankets, and baby clothes to donate to families in need.
“I started making dolls. I purchased doll heads and made them,” Jandira said. “In my first stint, I made almost 150. Later, I started receiving donations. I found out the toys were not in good condition, so I made some changes.”
On December 18, 2022, de Quadros forwarded 200 of these toys and 200 candy kits to Adventist Solidarity Action (ASA), an organization where she also volunteers. According to local ASA director Elvira de Oliveira, volunteer work was already something Jandira used to do before becoming a Seventh-day Adventist. After her baptism, however, she redoubled her efforts.
Jandira is part of a team of 26 people who work all year round to assist those in direst need. “My life is very hectic, but I experience so much happiness in accomplishing this and seeing children smile,” Jandira said.
On December 19, in addition to the delivery of toys to children in need, thanks to another ASA project, about 40 families received Christmas baskets. Along with basic items, the families received panettones, cookies, condensed milk, and other goodies. The kit also contained toiletries and cleaning products. “Every one of these items seeks to make Christmas more special for people,” organizers said.
De Oliveira explained that the grocery store opens once a month. People can visit and choose and take home, for free, the items they need. “The project started in May 2022,” De Oliveira said. “Every month was a challenge to fill our shelves with enough donations. Sometimes, nothing was coming for weeks, but as we approach the opening day, we receive what we need, even at the last minute. This success can only be attributed to God,” she said.
The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.