ORLANDO — As the school year approaches, shoebox packers are making use of back-to-school prices to purchase gifts and essential items for children in need around the world. Residents in Orlando are collecting school supplies, along with personal care items and fun toys, to pack in shoeboxes. Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, will deliver these gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 100 countries.
For many children, access to these simple items is essential to an education. This was the case for Justin Thomas, a shoebox recipient in Southeast Asia whose parents could not afford the supplies needed for school. Thomas remembers the specific day he received a gift-filled shoebox from Operation Christmas Child and found it filled with toys and most exciting to him—school supplies!
Growing up with hand-me-down clothes and used items, Thomas used to write with a pencil so short that he held it using a pen cap. Having an entire packet of new pencils and a pencil sharpener all his own was a treasure to him. This simple gift made a life-changing impact for Thomas because it opened the doors for him to receive an education.
For more information, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. National Collection Week is Nov. 13-20. Participants can donate $10 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, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks 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 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Operation Christmas Child will celebrate its 30th year of ministry!