Would you like to make a real difference in a child's life? If the answer is yes, then come be a part of Operation Christmas Child! Through gift-filled shoe boxes, children throughout the world get to experience God's love and learn the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Operation Christmas Child is one of the ministries of Samaritan's Purse, led by Billy Graham's son Franklin. Through the power of a simple gift, more than 100 million children in over 130 countries on 6 continents have received a gift-filled shoe box since 1993. In addition to this shoe box, they also receive a booklet in their own language that explains the story of Jesus to them. And that is the greatest gift anyone can receive!
How can you be a part of this? It's really easy! We collect shoe boxes all during the year. They are wrapped and in September placed in the lobby for folks to pick up and fill with small inexpensive toys, school supplies and hygiene items. Examples of items that can go into the boxes are as follows:
- Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
- School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
- Non-Liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
- Accessories: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
- A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
- Do Not Include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
I suggest that most of the items be purchased at dollar stores. I personally buy one or two items each time I go to a dollar store during the course of the year. Then in September, I have all the items I need to fill my shoe boxes and don't have to spend a lot of money at one time. Just a suggestion I thought I would pass along.
The gifts don't need to be really expensive because they are going to children who may never have received a gift of any kind in their entire life. They are so very excited by anything they receive and even happier to know that someone they have never met cared enough to send the gifts.
This is one of the easiest ways we can share God's love. And we affect the lives of not only the children who receive the shoe boxes, but also those of their families as they share the information they receive along with the boxes.
So prayerfully consider being a part of this ministry. You will be blessed by giving a child the greatest gift of all – Jesus!