By Rev. Doug Forbes
Now is the best time for your young people to become involved in Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that assists needy children throughout the world. Churches, schools and civic organizations throughout North America will be hosting Operation Christmas Child parties this year.
Operation Christmas Child is the largest missions effort of its kind and it enriches the lives of millions of children around the world. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, conducts this special program. Each year children across America fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene supplies and other items and send them to Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization.
These shoeboxes are delivered to millions of children affected by poverty, disease, disaster and war. Last year nearly 8 million shoeboxes filled by our children were sent around the world. In light of current economic conditions these boxes can be very helpful to those in need.
Our grandchildren love to go shopping to help pick out the items they wish to send to a child in need. They bring the items they have collected to their school and fill and wrap shoeboxes with their classmates. You could also do this at your house of worship, service organization or as a family. These simple gifts remind children in many countries that a child in the United States loves and cares about them. It also reminds him or her of God’s great love for everyone.
Some of the countries to receive shoeboxes last year included: Malawi, Jamaica, Latvia Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Burkina, Faso, Ghana, Zambia, Russia, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Macedonia, Honduras, Kosovo, Brazil, El Salvador and Argentina.
Let’s join together with our children now to prepare for the holiday season by helping this worthy effort or another charity of your choice that helps to meet the needs of our world’s children. November is the best time to send your boxes, but boxes are accepted at Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC. 28607 year round.
For more information on how to host your own Operation Christmas Child party, call 1-800-353-5949, or visit samaritanspurse.org.