You can decorate an ornament or buy a pair of Christmas shoes – or both – and help make the season a little brighter for an orphan.
Nailed It, a Fort Mill do-it-yourself craft business, is opening its doors to the public Nov. 1 for a free ornament decorating event to help Haitian orphans supported by Give Hope Global charity.
The ornaments will then be placed on Give Hope Trees, similar to the Angel Tree project, and those wanting to help can choose an ornament representing a child.
The Give Hope Trees will be different in that the ornaments will have a picture and name of a child living in one of the Give Hope orphanages, and the only item requested is shoes.
Michelle Cherikos, Mrs. S.C. Strawberry Festival 2015, masterminded the ideas for the ornaments and Give Hope Trees. She competed in the pageant under the Give Hope Global platform.
“I really wanted the families and children to be able to see the child,” Cherikos said. Cherikos is owner of Angel Eye Portraits and travels to Haiti with Give Hope several times a year as a volunteer photographer.
Cherikos asked the orphanage director what the children would like for Christmas and the answer was dress shoes to wear to school.
“The director of the orphanage said it’s their greatest need,” Cherikos said.
For orphans in Haiti, Christmas isn’t like it is for many U.S. children, she said. They don’t typically receive any presents.
“They usually get a special meal and a Christmas service celebration in the church,” Cherikos said.
Local businesses Katie Baby and Paracle Realty and Grace Life Church of Pineville, N.C., will host Give Hope Trees and serve as drop-off locations for the shoes.
Decorating an ornament or buying a pair of shoes is an easy way to get involved, said Katie Henson, owner of Katie Baby children’s boutique on Main Street.
“Most people in this community don’t have to want for shoes,” Henson said.
Nailed It owner Shannon Evans liked the idea of the community being able to do something hands-on to help.
“We want families to come together, we want groups to come. We want them to know that this is helping because it’s raising awareness,” Evans said.
Kelly Lessard: firstname.lastname@example.org, @KellyLessardFMT
Want to help?
A free craft event for Give Hope Global will be held 2-8 p.m. Nov. 1 at Nailed It studio in the back of Birds of a Feather boutique 1642 S.C. 160 West, Fort Mill.