Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Box Full of Love

It’s not even November and some of us are already thinking about Christmas.  What’s the big rush you ask? It’s time to fill shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child! Since 1993, the
Samaritan’s Purse project has collected and delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoe
boxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. These personalized shoe boxes filled with toys and gifts will go to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries around the world.

Day after day on TV and the Internet, we see heart-wrenching pictures of children set adrift as refugees from war-torn countries. Also many families in Africa and Southeast Asia lack the basic necessities of life with little resources left to bring sunshine into a child’s life. We may not be able to personally go on a mission trip to help the world’s children, but we can support the work of Samaritan’s Purse in distributing shoe boxes to the neediest of them. 

Many senior adults in retirement communities and as individuals participate in this project. A recent internet video showed a 91-year-old woman sewing small tote bags to include in the boxes. Her goal for 2015 is to make 200 drawstrings bags. She wakes up with a purpose each and every day knowing that she is helping to bring joy to a child’s life.

What goes into a shoe box? The most popular items include a small doll, inflatable soccer ball, school supplies, hygiene items like toothbrushes and soap, flip-flops and socks. Non-chocolate candy, beads for girls, and flashlights for boys are much desired by children everywhere. A regular shoe box filled with items and wrapped in Christmas paper can be taken by November 23 to one of 4,000 drop-off sites in all 50 states. Operation Christmas Child also provides free pre-printed boxes for filling that are available at Christian bookstores.
Shoe boxes are flown to countries all over the world and distributed via boat, truck, and by mule into the remotest communities of people. The children and teenagers are then given an opportunity to take a class called “The Greatest Journey” that introduces them to God’s love through Jesus Christ. Lives are changed for eternity, as many receive the hope offered by the Gospel. And it all starts with a shoe box and a visit to your local dollar store.

More information on how you can help is found at the website:

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