Winthrop resident Meg Shannon didnâ€™t let 6,000 miles of travel get in the way of doing a great deed.
Shannonâ€™s goodwill journey from Boston to Chisinau, Moldova – located between Romania and the Ukraine in Eastern Europe – resulted from her involvement and that of her children, Mark, 22, and Daniel, 20, in the Grace Chapel in Lexington.
â€œFor the past 16 years, Iâ€™ve been participating in the Chapelâ€™s â€˜Face of A Childâ€™ program where I help to assemble backpacks filled with sneakers, pajamas, school supplies, and toiletries for children in orphanages in Moldova,â€ said Shannon.
This year she decided to go on a church mission to Moldova to meet the children and personally distribute the supplies to the orphanages.
â€œThey were preaching about radical changes and God touched my heart and said, â€˜You have to go,â€™â€™â€™ recalled Shannon about her particular moment of inspiration. â€œSo I just went.â€
During her nine-day trip, Shannon and eight other volunteers from the church delivered winter coats, sneakers, school supplies, and toiletries to various orphanages in the republic.
â€œItâ€™s a very poor area,â€ said Shannon. â€œThe buildings are dilapidated and the villages are really undeveloped – thereâ€™s no running water.â€
Her first stop was at an orphanage in Drochia where she visited with 175 children.
â€œWe delivered our supplies and conducted a two-day bible study,â€ said Shannon. â€œWe stayed at Little Samaritan Mission which runs Face of A Child in Moldova.â€
Shannon described the look on the childrenâ€™s faces upon her arrival at the orphanage. â€œThe children were so happy. The kidsâ€™ smiles were heartwarming and youâ€™ll never get a hug like this from anybody. They appreciate everything. I think I cried every day of our visits. It was so emotional. I had always wanted to meet these children.â€
She recalled one exchange where her act of kindness providing a lasting memory.
â€œI had a green band-aid on my finger because it was sore and this little boy had a scab on his elbow,â€ said Shannon. â€œHe pulled his sleeve down to show me his elbow. So I took my band-aid off and put it on his elbow and he thought I gave him the world. They appreciate everything you give them.â€
Shannon said her trip to Moldova was made possible through donations that she received from co-workers at Massport, family members and friends.
Sheâ€™s grateful to those supporters for giving her the opportunity to affect the lives of children in such an important humanitarian effort.
â€œIâ€™ve volunteered at the church before but this was the first time I had done something this big,â€ said Shannon. â€œWe touched childrenâ€™s lives and they look forward to us returning next year. It was a really moving experience.â€