What is Operation Christmas Child?
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse that sends simple shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and other accessories to children around the world as a tangible expression of God’s love. Along with their shoebox of gifts, each child also receives “The Greatest Gift”- a gospel in their own language, and an opportunity to complete a 12 week discipleship program called “The Greatest Journey” which helps these children connect to the local church, grow in their faith, and become equipped to share their faith with others. Upon completion of this course, each child is given a Bible in their own language!
“What goes in the box is fun, What comes out is eternal!”
How are we Involved?
We at Celebration Church have collected shoeboxes for this ministry for many years. But in 2014, we started something very exciting: a church-wide packing party. Individuals bring in gift items during the collection period, and in November we all come together as a church family and pack boxes with the items we have been collecting. Our Shoebox party is a special time for the whole family to worship together, pack boxes, and pray over them before sending them out into the world! Last year, we set a goal of packing 300 boxes and we far surpassed that goal by packing 406! That is 406 children blessed with perhaps the first gift they’ve ever received. More importantly, that is 406 Gospel Opportunities!
Our 2016, shoe boxes went to Columbia!
(You can click on the country name and follow these links to read about the impact OCC is having in those countries)
What Can I do to help?
Because last year was such a success, in 2016, we are raising the bar. Our goal for this year is 500 shoeboxes! But this year, you don’t have to wait until fall to get in on the fun. Item collection will be open all year! This way, you can take advantage of seasonal clearance, specials, and sales and allow your investment to have the greatest impact. You can follow along with our “Item of the Month” calendar, as well as drop of any other good deals you may find!
Item of the month Calendar:
February: Accessories (cups, small bowls, reusable shopping bags, etc.)
March: Coloring books, Crayons, Colored Pencils.
April: Small Stuffed Animals and Toys (yoyo’s, baby dolls, cars, balls, jump ropes, paddle balls, jigsaw puzzles, plastic animals, etc.)
May: Toys and Games (travel size board games, playing cards, memory match, etch-a-sketch, slinky, instruments, legos, puppets, etc.)
June: Bar Soap
July: School Supplies (PENCILS, crayons, colored pencils, spiral notebooks, etc)
August: School Supplies (So important we are collecting them twice!)
September: Clothing Items (t-shirts, dresses, underwear, socks, winter hats, gloves etc.)
October: Everything (This is our chance to catch up on what we missed, and gather what items we still lack)
November: Letters, photos, 7 dollar donations, Last Minute Items
*Photos Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse*