Angenette Lau on donating school supplies to children in the Third World

Lau is the San Francisco and Peninsula-area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, a national organization dedicated to sending shoeboxes filled with school supplies to international impoverished children. For more info, visit

What’s the goal for this year? Last year, we raised 9,800 shoeboxes, and mind you this was without much leadership. I just stepped to my role in March. We’re upping our goal to 11,000 shoeboxes, and that will translate to helping 11,000 children.

What kind of impact can these shoeboxes have on children around the world? In Honduras, a pencil costs $1.50. The parent brings home $1.50 every day — that’s it. By packing a pencil, you just gave that child an opportunity to go to school. We’re looking for pencils, pens, notebooks, paper, erasers … the smallest thing can completely alter that child’s route in life.

Can you tell us how this operation has personally impacted you? My husband and I have been doing this for a couple years. He got a different perspective on Christmas. A few years ago, he wanted us to buy gifts for each other. I was like, “No, we don’t need anything anymore. Let’s give Christmas away.” Instead of giving each other gifts, we gave each other shoeboxes, and by giving that to somebody else, that was our gift to each other.

Dire water warnings confront San Francisco and beyond

‘We will face challenges that I don’t think modern California has ever really seen before’

By Jessica Wolfrom
Debate over $150 million San Francisco school district windfall

‘We’re looking at the ways to boost morale’

By Ida Mojadad
Fired for being ‘unGoogley’ after asking about holiday pay?

South Carolina data center worker says she got sacked for questioning Thanksgiving reimbursement

By Jeff Elder