Operation Christmas Child proceeds with COVID -19 guidelines
Published 6:30 am Saturday, October 31, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause fear and uncertainty, Samaritan’s Purse is calling on churches and families to pack more shoebox gifts than ever before for Operation Christmas Child—making sure millions of children experience the Good News and great joy of the holiday. Samaritan’s Purse is committed to its mission of reaching millions of children across the globe with hope.
“In the midst of the pandemic, the needs are greater than ever before,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Children around the world need to know that God loves them and there is hope. A simple shoebox gift opens the door to share about the true hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”
The Samaritan’s Purse project has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts—filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys—to children worldwide for more than two decades.
This is a mission project that everyone can still be a part of, even with COVID-19 restrictions. Simply pack shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys. Then, bring them to one of more than 4,000 Drop-Off Locations during National Collection Week Nov. 16–23.
Even if churches and groups are not yet meeting, families are encouraged to pack shoebox gifts at home.
“This year we are offering curbside drop off at the five locations in the Golden Triangle,” Beaumont Area Volunteer for the Golden Triangle Usha Beckman said. “Volunteers will unload the shoeboxes and you will not need to get out of the vehicle. It can be completely contactless to make one more comfortable with concerns of COVID.”
When you arrive at your drop-off location, follow the signs for curbside drop off. A volunteer wearing a mask will greet you and direct you to an outside area where they will retrieve your shoeboxes. Volunteers will also present you with a touchless way to leave your contact information and the number of shoeboxes that you are dropping off.
Contactless drop off did not increase the need for more volunteers at each drop, according to Beckman.
The organization also offers an option to virtually pack a shoebox gift.
“You can pack a shoebox online from the comfort of your home,” Beckman said “For a $25 donation, you don’t have to shop just make a few clicks. Adding a note or special items is still an option when you pack a shoebox online.”
Through this online tool, churches and groups can also set up a goal page to rally together to reach a larger goal. It’s easy—simply set a goal, invite your friends, and start packing! Whether your goal is 50 shoeboxes or 5,000, anyone can Create a Goal Page and work together with church members, friends, and family to share the hope of the Gospel with children around the world.
Beckman added that while COVID may have changed the way shoeboxes are packed or dropped off this year, the mission has not changed.
Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks 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 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.
“In this time of fear and uncertainty, more than ever, children around the world need to know hope can be found in Jesus Christ,” Beckman said.
DROP OFF SITE
First Baptist Church
7637 Martin Luther King Jr Drive
Mon, Nov. 16: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tue, Nov. 17: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wed, Nov. 18: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m
Thu, Nov. 19: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m
Fri, Nov. 20: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m
Sat, Nov. 21: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Sun, Nov. 22: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Mon, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.