MASON COUNTY — This month, the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Ashton will be among one of the 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoebox gifts for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19.
Mason County families, churches, and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse Project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty, and famine. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.
For those wishing to participate in this project, these are the steps to take: Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox (for those who want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately); Decide the box will be for a girl or a boy within these age categories: 2–4, 5–9, or 10–14; Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies; Pray for the child who will receive your gift, participants can also include a personal note and photo; Optionally, donate $9 online and receive a tracking label to follow the box and discover the destination the shoebox gift; Take the shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week.
This year, Mason County area residents hope to collect more than 25,000 gifts to contribute to the 2018 global goal of reaching 11 million children.
“We are honored to be linking arms with our community to help children around the world experience the true meaning of Christmas,” said Regional Director David Zimmerman, “these simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is 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 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (937) 374-0761 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Some information from samaritanspurse.org/occ was used in this article.