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Mormon family's 'sticker project' in Argentina creates, spreads holiday cheer

Published: Saturday, Jan. 12 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

It started as an effort for Sharee Wolfley and her family to spread some holiday cheer in the form of sharing stickers.

Originally from southeastern Idaho, Sharee Wolfley, her husband and their three young children are in Argentina, where her husband is the manager of the farms owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Stickers are prized possessions here in this part of Argentina — difficult to find and very expensive,” Sharee Wolfley wrote in an email. “I put the idea (of sending our family stickers) on my blog the day after Thanksgiving only expecting a few of my immediate relatives to respond.”

They sent stickers and so did many, many others.

Within a week, they received about 3,000 sheets of stickers from people in 25 states in the United States and several other countries, including Germany, Canada and Malaysia.

The Mormon family planned to deliver their prepared gift bags of stickers to schoolchildren in Entre Rios — about a six-hour drive — but due to rain and muddy rural roads, school had been canceled.

“We did the only other thing possible — we went to them (the students),” Wolfley wrote. “We were up against some risks, like getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no phone service, but thankfully, my husband and I both felt like the Lord was aware of our efforts.

“All of the children we have taken a sticker bag to have been overjoyed, to say the least. It has been so touching to see a young child’s countenance go from serious to happy and then playful, the way it should be,” wrote Wolfley as she described the experience of an American family showing up unexpected to deliver stickers at children's homes.

They also teamed up with a local Catholic association for needy families called MANÁ of Venado Tuerto, which delivers boxes of food and utensils to at least 50 families in the Santa Fe province. And the addition of stickers for the children of these families “turned out to be the perfect contribution to their cause,” Wolfley wrote.

“In addition to MANÁ, we were able to extract names from local LDS Primary presidents as well as the missionaries, who also helped us deliver the remaining sticker bags on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,” Wolfley said.

Her two daughters, 5-year-old AnnMarie and 3-year-old Carlie, were excited by each step of the process and helped open envelopes of stickers. They would also spend hours helping organize stickers and stuffing bags.

“I was so inspired to see the excitement and dedication my girls exhibited throughout this project,” Wolfley added of her girls’ reactions.

“I believe true service is done quietly. I never intended for this project to gain as much attention as it did. It has been incredibly humbling to instigate a service idea that snowballed and included so many others,” Wolfley wrote.

MANÁ de Venado Tuerto will be accepting stickers in the future, and Wolfley provides information about donating on her blog at www.thewolfleyfamily.blogspot.com.ar; for details, click on “The Sticker Project.”

Email: rappleye@desnews.com

Twitter: CTRappleye

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