For 20 years, members of the Burns Lake community have been filling Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes to be sent to children in developing countries. It’s that time of year again, and you are invited to participate. Compared to much of the world, many of us have plenty and are able to make a difference in some children’s lives by contributing at least one shoe-box gift.
Take Felisha for example. She received a doll, some stationery, and a teddy bear in her shoe box as an 8-year old in Trinidad. Curious about where the gifts came from, she started going to church in a nearby village and soon accepted Christ as her Savior. In time, she and her family helped plant a church in their own community.
Some local folks get so excited about Operation Christmas Child that they fill five, 10, 25 or even 50 boxes all by themselves. In the past 13 years, our community has filled 7,761 boxes, likely valuing over $200,000. In 25 years, over 150 million shoe boxes have been distributed worldwide—-touching 150 million children’s lives. Millions of lives have been changed.
If you plan to get involved, pick up a box and brochure at The Dollar Store, the Wholesale Club or a variety of local churches. Be sure to follow the guidelines on the brochure. For example, candy, breakable items, things that can scare or harm a child, liquids and even toothpaste will not make it past the warehouse in Calgary. And cut the label out of the brochure and attach it to the box to indicate the age and gender of the child you prepared the gift for. (If you can’t get an “Operation Christmas Child” shoe box, use your own from your closet. It doesn’t even have to be wrapped.)
There are about six weeks left. Collection of all shoe boxes will take place November 12-17. During that week shoe boxes can be dropped off at Burns Lake Community Church, 530 Kerr Rd (behind Lino’s).
Operation Christmas Child is part of a larger organization called Samaritan’s Purse, which is involved in establishing orphanages, setting up medical clinics, providing water purification systems, and helping people rebuild homes after natural disasters. For more information or materials for the shoe-box program contact me (John Neufeld) at 250-692-7949.