Operation Christmas Child is an annual event that is overseen by Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. The mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies to help those who are in need.
Not only does this relief organization help many children in need all around the world with basic necessities, but it also allows them to experience a good holiday season. These boxes are required to be dropped off during the week of Nov. 18, which will ensure that the boxes arrive to these children right in time for Christmas.
“Every year my church and I have the opportunity to donate to this relief program that helps those who are in need,” said Ava Shields, member of West Ridge Church. “Samaritan’s Purse ships these gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, famine and disease.”
Some children are unable to experience Christmas in the magical way that many of us do here in the United States. This little bit of effort and support from the community allows them to be happy during the holiday season.
“Packing a shoebox full of necessities does not cost a lot, and it is also not very time consuming,” said Jacob Daniel, member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “We do it when the kids are in school so that everyone who wants to help can just come into school early and pack a shoebox.”
There are dozens of churches and schools all around the country that are partnered with this relief program, which allows many people to donate and give to those that are less fortunate than they are.
“When packing a shoebox, you have the ability to decide both the gender and the age range of who you will be packing the shoebox for,” said Shields. “This makes the packing process more personal since I am picking certain items instead of just general items.
“Along with getting to decide the gender and age of the box that you will be packing for, you also get to pick a fun gift for the receiving child. This particular gift in the box usually makes me the happiest as I know that when they open the box it will be one of the first items that they see,” Shields continued.
Many people are unable to pack shoe boxes themselves, whether it be because they don’t have time, they don’t have the money to go out and buy all of the supplies or they don’t have a drop off location that is close enough to them. This issue is avoided as the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief Foundation has the opportunity for people to pay online.
“People can choose to build a box online, which will still allow for them to personalize it as they would if they were able to build it themselves,” said Daniel. “Having this option truly enhances the outcomes of this project.”
The potential for an amazing Christmas filled with lots of happy and jolly moments can be achieved with this foundation. Seeing the smiles on children’s faces when they open their boxes will be sure to light up even the darkest of rooms.