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Cool Kid

Cheyla Sabrosky

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04/01/2011 - By Gayle Irwin

Cheyla Sabrosky didn't want just any birthday party when she turned 10 years old last November -- she wanted a shoebox birthday! No, she wasn't asking for dozens of pairs of shoes; she wanted to pack dozens of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry outreach of Samaritan's Purse, and Cheyla got her wish. About 35 children and adults came to the Sabrosky house in Bar Nunn on a Saturday in November and filled 12 shoeboxes with toys, candy, and personal items, gifts that would be distributed to children around the world.

"I'm glad I did it," Cheyla said. "God put it on my heart. I was a bit nervous that day, with all those people coming over."

Cheyla said she had the idea and shared it with her best friend, Chloe Champion, and Chloe encouraged her friend to do it.

She said she had filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child the year previous but had missed the deadline to get the boxes to the distribution point. She didn't want to miss it again in 2010 and she wanted to fill several shoeboxes, not just one or two. Cheyla said she plans to fill shoeboxes again in 2011, and she'd like to pack even more this year.

"You can help people (through Operation Christmas Child)," Cheyla's friend Chloe explained. "There are some kids around the world don't even have one pair of shoes."

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Helping others is a large part of both girls' lives. They met about a year ago when Chloe and her family moved to the Casper area. The two girls bonded quickly.

Recently, the girls conducted a bake sale to help provide funding for a roof for a school in Uganda. The money they raised also helped buy school supplies for the children of that school. They also set up a lemonade stand.

"It's an amazing impact, two girls baking cookies," Michelle stated.

Cheyla's cookie baking allows her to continue helping other children. Cheyla's Compassion Cookies for Kate is her small enterprise through which she bakes and sells cookies in order to sponsor a 7-year-old girl through Compassion International. Michelle said that Cheyla wanted to sponsor a child and that she told Cheyla "all right, but you have to raise the money yourself." Cheyla buys all the ingredients as well.

Cheyla said she and Chloe plan more bake sales and lemonade stands this summer. They are also thinking of walking dogs. All of these endeavors will be done to raise money for children and for projects that help children around the world.

In addition to helping others, Cheyla and Chloe enjoy many activities like other 10-year-olds, such as swimming, basketball and soccer. Additionally, Chloe is involved in figure skating.

These two young hearts are filled with compassion for other children and are reaching out to help those in need.

Look for these young ladies at a park or grocery store this summer, selling cookies and lemonade. Also, you can purchase cookies from Cheyla's Compassion Cookies for Kate by contacting Cheyla's mother Michelle at 258-2448.

To learn more about the projects close to Cheyla's heart visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/ to learn more about Operation Christmas Child and http://www.compassion.com/ to learn more about Compassion International.

Sidebar: Local Operation Christmas Child Coordinator Wanda Klietz recently said that people might not realize they can think of the organization year-round. For example, winter gear that can fit in a shoebox, such as gloves and hats, can be purchased for 50 cents or less in spring as stores clear out for summer wear; candy can be bought very reasonably after Easter and Halloween. For more information on how to help Operation Christmas Child in the Casper area, contact Klietz at 277-5467 or email shoeboxmomma@hotmail.com.

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