By Judy Bellenger
Fall is just around the corner and visions of pumpkins, scarecrows, Halloween costumes and Oktoberfest come to mind. But wait; you will also see Christmas Shoe Box stands strategically located in various places around Big Canoe.
As the world continues to wrestle with a global pandemic, children around the world need hope more than ever. Gift-filled shoeboxes can help show them God’s love and provide an opportunity to communicate the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We want to let them know that God loves them and has not forgotten them! For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.
Since 1993, over 198 million boys and girls in over 170 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.
Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts. After receiving their box, children are invited to participate in The Greatest Journey, a discipleship course where they learn how to follow Christ and share Him with others.
Boxes will be available beginning Oct. 1 and can be picked up at the Chapel, the Postal Facility, the Clubhouse and the Wellness Center. The instructions and shipping labels are included with the boxes. The deadline for returning shoeboxes is Nov. 7 and they can be returned to the racks at the Chapel and inside the Postal Facility.
A variety of free items will be offered again this year. There will also be some “WOW” items available for a small donation. Items can be gotten at the Chapel during Sunday stand-around and Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Those who prefer to do their own shopping are welcomed to do so. Instructions on how to pack a shoebox and a suggested list of items to include can be found at bigcanoechapel.com.
Many people like to know where their shoeboxes are going. By making a simple donation for shipping and other program costs, those who pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child can discover the country destinations of their gifts. Samaritan’s Purse will email a special label, which, when attached to each shoebox packed, allows them to let a person know the country destinations. Instructions on tracking can be found at www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child.
You can bless children around the World without leaving home. The box can be packed from your computer or handheld device. In just a few clicks, you can select toys and other fun items to include and then, personalize it by adding your own letter and photo. Information on how to Build-A-Box is available by using the QR Code or by clicking here. The cost is $25 and includes $9 for shipping.