Soon volunteers from around Great Bend will gather to kick off the collection season for Samaritan’s Purse. Empty shoeboxes will be packed throughout the fall — with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items — and collected at several area locations Nov. 13-20.
There will be an Operation Christmas Child Countdown event in Great Bend on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m., at Grace Community Church, 210 McKinley St. The public is encouraged to attend.
During the program, participants will hear about a local couple’s shoebox distribution trip to Togo, Africa, this past spring. After that, there will be numerous door prizes, including some of the new plastic OCC boxes that are now available to the public. Information, updates and Operation Christmas Child supplies will also be provided to equip volunteers to pack shoebox gifts and encourage others to do the same.
The drop-off location for the gift-filled boxes at the Grace Community Church in Great Bend will be the first stop on a journey across the globe for the shoeboxes packed by local families. These gifts will be prepared and delivered 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 Tamra Clawson, Area Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, at 620-482-3305, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ for more information and to view gift suggestions.
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 samaritanspurse.org/buildonline 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.
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 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.