Today is the start of National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse project delivering hundreds of millions of gift-filled shoeboxes to boys and girls around the world.
“Each shoebox represents a gospel opportunity in that at each distribution event, the gospel is presented to the children in their language,” Calvary Chapel Coordinator Jennifer Moore. “For children that respond to the gospel, they are invited to participate in a 12-week Bible study called The Greatest Journey. Upon graduation, they are given a Bible in their own language.”
Moore said the shoeboxes help fulfill the great commission – go into all the world and share the gospel.
“For many of us, it is not practical to travel to foreign countries and share the gospel,” she said. “But for most of us packing a shoebox, or multiple shoeboxes, is a fun and relatively easy thing to do and know that we are playing a part in the good news of sharing Jesus Christ around the world.”
Items to add to each shoebox include:
- Personal hygiene items such as a washcloth, bar of soap, stick of deodorant and toothbrushes
- School supplies
- Clothing items
- Small, filler items
Drop-off hours for National Collection Week include:
- Monday, Nov. 16th, 9-11 a.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 17th, 9-11 a.m.
- Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 4-6 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 19th, 9-11 a.m.
- Friday, Nov. 20th, 9-11 a.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 21st, 9-11 a.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 1-3 p.m.
- Monday, Nov. 23rd, 9-10 a.m.
Moore said any standard-size shoebox works for packing items. However, some prefer packing items in a plastic, shoebox-sized container because “this can be reused for various things by the recipient.”
Moore said it’s recommended to include a “wow item,” such as a stuffed animal, baby doll, deflated soccer ball with a pump, etc.
“The boxes themselves are exciting for the children to receive, but the greatest treasure is that they are told about Jesus,” she said. “I personally like the soccer ball idea because it is not just fun for one child, but for an entire community Pinterest has some great ideas for things to put in the boxes.”
Samaritans Purse asks donators to not include war-related items, liquids, breakables, toothpaste, candy and money (except the $9-shipping donation.)
Though the donation is not required, the $9-shipping donation should be placed on top of the items in the shoebox If there are multiple boxes packed, the donation can be placed inside one of the boxes. National Collection Week is November 16-23. Area donations may be dropped off at Calvary Chapel Paris 3100 Clarksville St.
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