In the Spirit of Giving

The holiday season is just around the corner. This time of year means different things to different people. Most recognize the Christmas season as a time for family, sharing, and gift giving. For those in the world who are less fortunate, and aren't familiar with the joy of the Christmas season, Samaritan's Purse created Operation Christmas Child. It is now the worlds largest Christmas project.
Gift filled shoe boxes are sent to children in more than 100 countries, transcending all barriers- language, cultural, geographical, and political- to give hurting children joy and hope. Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes travel around the world using every form of transportation imaginable, from trucks to boats to planes to the backs of camels. Many children who receive a shoe box are being given the first gift they have ever received.
Operation Christmas Child is a fun and easy project that anyone of any age can be involved in. Each gift-filled shoe box should contain a well balanced variety of school supplies, toys, hygiene products, and a personal note and/or picture. The suggested $7 donation for each shoe box that is filled is used to help cover the cost of international shipping and other project-related costs.
When culturally appropriate, the children who receive a gift-filled shoe box are offered a colorful booklet, titled The Greatest Gift of All. The booklet explains, in the child's own language, the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ. Children are also offered the opportunity, when culturally appropriate, to take part in a 12-week biblical, discipleship training program through a local church, called The Greatest Journey.
Last year, 640,569 shoe boxes were collected in Canada. This year, there will be more than 1200 shoe box collection center locations cross Canada. They are also collected in the United States, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Spain, and United Kingdom. The 2010 Operation Christmas Child International collection goal will be more than 8 million gift-filled shoe boxes.
The 2010 National Collection Week is November 15 - 21, but shoe boxes are being accepted at the Three Hills Loonie Store, and Mt. Olive Church in Three Hills, now, until November 21st. For more information on empty boxes, and ready-made boxes, phone Carolyn Banks @ 443-5402 or Jo Ann Olson @ 442-2460.