Making a difference one child at a time.
The calendar says October, but Christians from many countries including the United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom are busy about the Father’s business getting ready for Christmas. They’re visiting dollar and discount stores, inspecting sales fliers and sharing tips with each other on how to find the right toys and supplies to put in decorative shoeboxes that will be collected in November for distribution to children in more than 100 countries over the following months.
National Collection Week
Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, will be collecting shoe boxes in the U.S. this year for eight days from November 12 through 19. Other countries set their own collection dates.
In advance of its National Collection Week, Samaritan’s Purse has been responding to church and group requests for materials. Those materials have been available since September and are being mailed out on a daily basis.
This year, Samaritan’s Purse expects that a significant milestone will be reached. At some point, shoe box No. 100,000,000 will be packed, one of millions of gift boxes that will be put together this year. From its humble beginnings in 1993, Operation Christmas Child has reached out to needy children in a tangible way through local churches, bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to them and to their families.
Samaritan’s Purse asks contributors to first determine whether they’ll be packing for a boy or for a girl. Then, they should choose an age range and buy an assortment of supplies for that child. Three age ranges — 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14 — are served. Suggested gift ideas include toys, school supplies, hygiene items and hard candies. You can include a personal note with a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your address, the child may write back. Please check out our 49 Christmas Shoe Box Stuffing Ideas for suggestions.
Local churches are among the drop off locations for Operation Christmas Child as are some bookstores such as LifeWay Christian Resources. If you are able to include a $7 check to cover delivery, you can include that with your gift too. If you prefer not to pack boxes, Samaritan’s Purse welcomes donations to help defray expenses.
In 2011, Operation Christmas Child collected and distributed a record 8.6 million boxes, passing 94 million shoe boxes distributed since its inception. The goal this year is to distribute 9 million gift boxes with gospel tracts included.
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