Orphans in India have been celebrating Christmas thanks to efforts of a local couple. The efforts are ongoing, with collection jars available around Memphis for this Christmas.

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year to many. Family and friends gather and celebrate the holidays in a variety of ways. It is also a time to reflect on the less fortunate and try to make their Christmas special as well. One local couple has been spreading Christmas cheer for orphans in India.

In 2015, local missionary Amanda Hillyer, daughter of Randall and Sandra Hillyer of Memphis, traveled to India to begin fulltime work there. Arriving in October, she spent the holidays with these orphans and found out there would be no big celebration with gifts and special treats. So Orphans’ Christmas was started.

With the help of the local community giving spare change and others making donations, the first year $800 was raised to give these children something they had never had. A small Christmas tree was purchased, a complete brand new outfit for each child, games, books and daily necessities were given.

Opening a wrapped gift, enjoying a day of games and special meal, and treats, the joy these children showed was priceless.

Amanda (Hillyer) Kuso and Sameer Kuso are continuing efforts to raise money locally for their Orphans Christmas project in India.

“These children had never opened a wrapped gift, never had a complete new outfit and never had a Christmas tree of their own,” said Amanda.. “What sometimes is taken for granted, meant the world to these orphan children.”

In 2016, efforts to continue Orphans’ Christmas were once again a success. Each child received a new jacket and blanket for the cooler nights, along with a special meal, treats and necessities

In 2017 Amanda and her husband Sameer Kuso are asking for your support once again. Collection jars, featuring photos of the orphans, are set around the community to receive donations.

“Give your spare change or donations to make a Christmas wish come true,” said Amanda. “For this year’s gift we are working towards new shoes and new school uniforms.”

Sameer and Amanda Kuso work for Burden for India Ministries supporting Bethel Children’s home which houses 40 orphan boys.

Preparations are being made for a girls home, with a goal to house 100 children when complete. The couple gathers monthly support to house the children, pay for school, food and necessities. Also Sameer works with his father, Dr. Nabin Kuso, to treat village patients who are too poor to be treated at a hospital. They travel several miles by motorcycle a day and help many who would die if not treated.

“We offer a heartfelt thank you to all who have and will donate to the great cause,” said Amanda.

Donations can be mailed to Sameer and Amanda Kuso memo Orphans Christmas, at 471 E. Monroe Memphis. MO 63555