‘Operation Christmas Child’ is underway

It’s drop-off week for ‘Operation Christmas Child’s’ annual shoebox distribution.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s drop-off is curbside only at 11 locations throughout the Gulf Coast.

In just a few weeks, ‘Operation Christmas Child’ will make a difference in the lives of countless children around the world with their annual shoebox donation.

But first local volunteers like the ones at the Gulf Coast Baptist Association must collect and organize the shoeboxes before they’re ready for send-off. Gulf Coast Area Coordinator Debbie Eubanks said, “We get to share God’s love to people across the world from right here where we are. It’s a very easy thing to do to take a shoebox, whether it’s one your shoe came in or a plastic box from the store. You can pack it with these items that you can drop off and share God’s love with children across the world.”

Shoeboxes can be filled with various items, including school supplies, toys, toiletries, clothes, and more. Eubanks, who has been part of the organization since 2006, says sharing faith and love is what it’s all about. “I personally have been to Uganda to help pass out the boxes and it’s amazing to see the reaction of the children getting the shoeboxes for the first time. We love hearing the testimonies of the things you get in the box that you don’t even think about, but it touches a child’s heart because it was what they needed at the time and God knew that.”

Since 1993 more than 178 million children in more than 150 countries have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Volunteers say the goal is to reach as many children as possible. Volunteers Liz Cook and Bonnie Humphrey said, “For most of these children, it’s the only gift they ever receive and it gives them the word of God in their own language with each shoebox. If you took every man, woman, and child in the United States and they did a shoebox it wouldn’t be enough shoeboxes to reach all of the children ages two to 14 in the country of India.”

Drop-off week runs through November 23rd. Donation information can be found on samaritianspurse.org.

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