Leighton “Sasha” Rogers, Bucky and Julie Rogers’ son, was living in a Ukrainian orphanage, having lost both parents to illness. On April 19, 2007, a local church brought Christmas shoeboxes to the children in the orphanage. Sasha was having a bad day and didn’t want to join in the fun. But that changed. Here’s his story in his own words.
“When I came outside, I saw smiles on everybody’s face because they opened their shoeboxes. I came up with my teacher to the people who were giving out shoeboxes and I got the last shoebox. Before I was walking away, one of the people gave me a little present on top of my shoebox…I opened a shoebox. I saw Hot Wheels cars, notebook, pen and pencils, slinky, toothbrush and toothpaste, and many other things and toys…I smiled at the people who gave me a shoebox and they smiled back at me. Then I started to open a small present that the person gave me individually. I opened it and it was a Bible by itself. I smiled even more because I realized that I needed this. The day I received a shoebox, I felt happy, joyful and I realized that someone out there is caring for me and loves me.”
Sasha received another shoebox the next year but this time he ran as fast as he could to try to get the first box. Among the things in the box was a soccer ball. Everyone who knows Sasha knows how much he loves soccer.