Impact a child’s life: pack a box today

Nov. 9, 2017

It’s Operation Christmas Child time again! If you’ve never packed a box for OCC, let me explain a bit of it to you:

Shoeboxes are delivered to children worldwide and in remote locations with the aim to share the gospel of Christ. Boxes are filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and small tools, depending on the age range you pack a box for. It’s the coolest thing because you know, as you’re packing and praying over a box, that a kid who has probably never gotten a gift before will receive the box you packed. And if you so choose, you can include a picture of your family and a letter to the child. 

I’ve enjoyed packing boxes in the past and my mom’s Sunday School class packed about 500 boxes last year with the aim of packing that many or more this year. I’ve heard stories from people who have packed boxes and even delivered boxes to children. I have friends who have seen children’s eyes light up when they open a box. 

Our pastor has two children that he and his wife adopted from Africa. The two children received boxes from Operation Christmas Child before they were adopted and they pack boxes now because they remember the feeling of receiving the gifts. 

The Chattahoochee Valley Area team has a goal of 22,285 shoeboxes that it wants to contribute to the global goal of reaching 12 million children in 2017. 

That’s an amazing goal! 

Lakewood Baptist Church, 4011 Lakewood Dr., is the local dropoff point for East Alabama residents. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Nov. 13 through Nov. 20, you can drop off shoeboxes to the church. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call (770) 777-9342 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. 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.

I hope you pack a shoebox this year if you’ve never packed one before. And if you have, that’s awesome. I pray you’re packing a few more.

Denise DuBois

ddubois@citizenea.com