Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Operation Christmas Child: Help Children Have A Happy Holidays

Kelowna church expects thousands of Operation Christmas Child donations Build Your Shoebox Online! - Operation Christmas Child - Samaritan's Purse
Erik Tate | 16 November, 2017, 02:12

Almost 11.5 million shoebox gifts were collected worldwide in 2016, with more than 9.1 million collected in the U.S.

Some call it the world's largest Christmas project.

"It is putting together a gift, of what I would consider love, packed into a shoebox", said Samaritan's Purse volunteer Shelley Hyatt of the campaign.

Each shoebox that arrives at Abingdon Baptist Church gets one of Carrier's handmade keepsakes.

"I always keep a few extras in my pocket whenever I go to the doctor's office or to the store", he said.

"This year it's going to secure areas, so they can not tell us", she said.

"We will roll with it and see how it goes", she said. "It is because of his love that we are doing this". The children alone in Africa is over four million that would receive boxes of this sort.

For children who have very little, and many who have never received a gift before, the boxes serve as a beacon of hope for their future.

Parker-Moore said what is truly unbelievable is that it's the little things that can be found in the box, like a toothbrush or a wash cloth, that these children really cherish.

We open and close the doors early on Monday, Nov. 20, to take the shoebox-filled cartons to the Kern County Collection Center in Bakersfield.

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The church is the central drop off location in the Southern Tier for the box gifts.

Hamm also added thanks to Candie and Lanny Baldridge with Charity Freewill Baptist Church for helping organize some of the local effort. Operation Christmas Child will deliver these shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and starvation.

For Klosterbuer and Hayenga, volunteering with Operation Christmas Child has been a wonderful experience. Some choose to wrap the boxes, but it's not required.

Each box is labeled for either a boy or a girl, with an age range clearly noted - child ages 2-4, child ages 5-9 or a child ages 10-14.

"School supplies are a great thing to include because a lot of these children don't have them", Huerta said. Some people also send a personal note and photo of their family.

Items that can't be included are candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; seeds; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; and aerosol cans.

Dana Williams of Samaritan's Purse said the Newnan goal is 20,330 boxes.

It isn't too late to pack a box, she said. Every shoebox needs a $9 donation to cover critical shipping and ministry costs.

She brought the idea to Christian Unity Church in Grafton, and started packing boxes with the youth group.

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