US Donors Collect School Supplies for Children Around the World

Make a Global Impact with Back-to-School Shopping This Year

Amid the back-to-school sales and shopping sprees, some U.S. shoppers are looking past their own checklist by collecting school supplies for children living in poverty overseas. For some of these children, access to these simple items is essential to an education.

Throughout the month, donors across the U.S. are filling empty shoeboxes with school supplies, alongside hygiene items and fun toys. Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, will deliver these shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

Back-to-school deals allow volunteers to provide even more children the opportunity to receive an education, such as Luis Gonzales, a shoebox recipient raised by a single mother in the ghetto of Panama City, Panama.

"When I was about to enter my first year of school, my family didn't have the money to buy school supplies," said Gonzalez. His experience is not uncommon for many children living in poverty. One day, Gonzalez received a gift-filled shoebox from Operation Christmas Child and found it filled with the school supplies he needed. "I am committed to sharing my story to encourage others to pack shoebox gifts, because I know the difference it can make in a child's life," said Gonzalez.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, 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.

MEDIA NOTE: For complete media materials including fact sheets and high-resolution, downloadable photos, visit samaritanspurse.org/occnewsroom.

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