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Great Bend kicks off season of giving with Operation Christmas Child
Pictured is Shiloh of Namibia, Africa with his shoebox gift.

An Operation Christmas Child countdown event to National Collection Week will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene in Great Bend from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20.

At this event, the public will hear from Tamra Clawson, area coordinator with Operation Christmas Child. She will share about her experience in delivering shoebox gifts to children in Namibia, Africa. She will also share about the discipleship program that is a part of the Operation Christmas Child ministry. Free supplies (preprinted shoeboxes, labels, flyers, etc.) will be distributed that will equip individual volunteers, churches, and groups to pack shoebox gifts for this upcoming season.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories. Our national goal this year is 11 million boxes with over 17,000 of those shoebox gifts being packed in western Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. 

The Great Bend drop-off location will be the first stop on a journey across the globe for gifts packed by local families. Together with the church worldwide, Operation Christmas Child will deliver these gifts to children in need overseas using whatever means necessary – boats, airplanes, trains and even elephants.  

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 620-482-3305, or visit Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.