U.S. Charity to Collect 100 Millionth Shoebox Gift

In Orphanages, Trash Dumps, War-Stricken Countries and Disaster Zones, U.S. Families Are Helping Children in Need Through the Power of a Simple Gift

Ralph lives beside a garbage dump in a house made of trash in Imus Cavite, Philippines. He spends most of his days digging through debris to find items his family can sell. Despite his circumstances, Ralph and his friends try to stay optimistic.

Their smiles are much wider, however, after a recent surprise at school. Local representatives with the world's largest Christmas project of its kind—Operation Christmas Child—brought them special gifts—shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and more.

While most American children would take these items for granted, in impoverished areas like Imus Cavite, school supplies and basic clothing make a huge difference. However, the shoeboxes offer much more than just physical items to make life more bearable. The gifts are a tangible demonstration of God’s love, offering hope and reassurance.

In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to collect and deliver the 100 millionth shoebox gift—a milestone reached after 20 years of packing, collecting, transporting and delivering these simple gifts to suffering children around the globe.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 94 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in more than 130 countries. For many of these children, the simple shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received.

Booklets are offered with the shoebox gifts, providing children with the opportunity to learn about God's love. Operation Christmas Child also offers a follow-up discipleship program called The Greatest Journey, helping children understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Last year, one million children in 50 countries participated in The Greatest Journey.


WHY NOW?

Sending hope to millions of needy children is a full-time effort, and anyone can participate. National Collection Week for shoebox gifts is Nov. 12 - 19, 2012, but it’s not too early to get involved. U.S. volunteers are needed year-round, and shoeboxes are collected throughout the year at Samaritan’s Purse’s headquarters in Boone.

How to Help:

  • Pack a shoebox gift—Fill shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, candy and a letter of encouragement. Step-by-step shoebox packing instructions are available at samaritanspurse.org. Click on "How to Pack a Shoebox."

  • Sign up to volunteer—Volunteer opportunities are available at samaritanspurse.org. Click on "Volunteer" for more details and information.

  • Spread the word—Help enlist families, churches, scout troops, community groups, and businesses to take part in creating shoebox gifts.

For more information visit, samaritanspurse.org.

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