Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes bring hope

By Linda George
Special to The PREVIEW
As you go through your morning routine, brushing your teeth, taking a warm shower and having your favorite beverage, do you think about those without a toothbrush, no soap or even water?
Millions of little children around the world have never experienced the luxury we take for granted on a daily basis.
Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a project of Samaritan’s Purse, has been making a difference since 1993 by bringing joy and God’s love to children worldwide through shoe boxes. In 2015/2016, over 11 million shoe boxes filled with toiletries, school supplies, toys and letters of encouragement have been given to children living in impoverished situations and areas of disaster or war.
Imagine those little eyes as they open a shoe box gift just for them. You and your entire family can be part of the world’s largest Christmas project. It’s easy as can be.
A standard shoe box is all you need to get started. Pick a girl or boy ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14, then go shopping at any of our local stores for items like a toothbrush, bar of soap, washcloth, pencils, little toys, washable plastic shoes, shirts, socks, etc. Personalize your gift box with a picture of you and a letter of encouragement. Please do not include candy or toothpaste this year due to new customs regulations.
For additional gift suggestions and more, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Over 20 of our local churches and some businesses in Pagosa Springs have brochures with information, labels for the boxes and donation envelopes to help with the $9 shipping cost per box. All of them will be promoting Operation Christmas Child during the months of October and early November, so please inquire and look for that OCC table.
Our goal for Pagosa this year is 2,000 boxes. On Saturday, 75 of your local pastors, project leaders and business owners attended a barbecue kick-off at the home of Bob and Linda George. Yuri Lopez, a shoe box recipient from Honduras, shared her story and they got fired up to help you be a part of this amazing opportunity.
Our Pagosa collection week for all shoe boxes will be Nov. 13-20 at CrossRoad Christian Fellowship, 1044 Park Ave., next to the recreation center.
Bring your filled shoe boxes to the church during the following times and help us reach our goal of 2,000: Nov. 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 19, 1 to 5 p.m.; Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 20, 8 to 10 a.m.; Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Nov. 17, 10: a.m. to 2 p.m.

This story was posted on September 24, 2017.