Nine-Year-Old Rallies Peers to Help 5,000 Kids

Kids-Helping-Kids Project Operation Christmas Child Collecting Gift-Filled Shoeboxes 

Since age six, Jordyn McNeal has been making a significant difference in the lives of others. From sending a 15-year-old brain cancer patient to Disney, to raising $7,950 for Nepali earthquake victims, the U.S. nine-year-old knows that age is no barrier for helping others.

This fall, Jordyn is teaming up with Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that will bring joy to millions of children facing difficult circumstances. Many of the gifts collected during the project’s National Collection Week, Nov. 16 – 23, will be given to children in areas where Samaritan’s Purse is already working overseas to provide humanitarian relief.

In 2012, Jordyn called on local businesses and her community to collect toys, hygiene items and school supplies for her Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Through hard work and the generosity of others, she collected 30,000 items and compiled 1,002 gift-filled shoeboxes. This year, she wants to inspire the collection of 5,000 shoebox gifts. To do this, she has created a youth challenge competition online for groups of kids to fill as many shoebox gifts as possible for children in other countries. These 5,000 gifts will contribute to the worldwide goal of sending 11 million children a message of hope. Jordyn personally hopes to pack 1,000 shoebox gifts.

“What makes me most sad is when a child doesn't have a mom and dad, and loses everything because of a hurricane, earthquake or war. I don't know what I would feel like if I lost everything I had and didn't have my family. It would make me really sad and upset,” said Jordyn. “Giving them a gift would give them lots and lots of joy and let them know people love them!”

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child visit National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 16 – 23; however, shoebox gifts are collected year-round at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. During National Collection Week, some 4,000 drop-off locations will open their doors to receive gifts in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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