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Christmas in July: Mathews teacher leads local shoebox outreach mission

Children in impoverished areas all over the world look forward to receiving a “shoebox gift” filled with toys, games, clothing, hygiene products and other necessities every year. One local teacher has made it her mission to help provide these basic items to children in need.

Amy Ashberry, kindergarten teacher at Mathews Elementary School, is working with Operation Christmas Child to pack shoebox gifts for children ages two to 14.

“It might be the only gift they’ve ever gotten,” said Ashberry. “For most of them, it is.”

She has started to collect items and pack shoebox gifts year-round, not just at Christmastime.

Ashberry led two “Christmas in July” shopping trips with local children this past month. Each child got to pick 10 items from the Dollar Tree in Gloucester to pack in a shoebox for a child in need. These trips were taken on a retired school bus that Ashberry purchased from Mathews County Public Schools at the end of last school year.

Schools superintendent Nancy...

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