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What’s the story about the shoebox of gifts for children around the world? Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, uses simple gift-filled shoeboxes to let children all over the world know that they are loved and not forgotten.
Samaritan’s Purse started Operation Christmas Child in 1993, collecting just 23,000 shoeboxes. To date we’ve collected over 95 million shoeboxes that have been delivered to needy children in more than 130 countries. That represents less than 5 percent of the children currently in the world, which is where you come in. Owen County has a goal of packing 1,450 shoeboxes this year and Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church will once again serve as an official drop off location for your shoebox donations during National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19.
In case you are not aware, this project is much more than providing children with what is most likely their first and only Christmas gift they’ll receive in their lifetime. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children around the world and together with the local church worldwide, to share the good news of Jesus Christ. With each box that is collected, a small booklet called “The Greatest Gift of All” is also given, which tells the children about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. After the children receive their own shoebox, they are invited to take place in a 12-week discipleship class called “The Greatest Journey,” where they learn more about God’s eternal love for them. Hundreds of thousands of children each year are asking Christ into their hearts and it all began with a simple shoebox gift – from someone like you.
So, please join us by bringing gift-filled shoeboxes containing simple items that most of us take for granted, such as toothbrushes, toys and school supplies. There is real power in these simple gifts our county will collect this year, as each shoebox gift is the first step in reaching children with the gospel message. Bring your packed shoeboxes to Pleasant Ridge the week of Nov. 12-19 during these hours: Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m.-noon; Wednesday 1-4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 5:30-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Sunday 12:30-7 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 19, 7:30-9 a.m. Or call (502) 750-1488 for more information.
Linda McDanell, area coordinator