Christmas may be just around the corner but millions of children around the world are living in poverty and don't know what it feels like to receive a gift during the holidays.
You can help make a difference in one of those children's lives by filling a shoe box with small gift items. Operation Christmas Child is an organization that will hand deliver those shoe boxes to more than 8 million children world wide.
"These shoe boxes will be given to children who have never had a gift before in their life. We've talked with people who have received these gifts as children, and they grow up remembering this for the rest of their life. It really does make a difference," said Paul Mekeel.
This year, operation Christmas child will be delivering a large quantity of shoe boxes to children in Haiti who have been affected by the earthquake and cholera outbreak.
Tallahassee Heights United Methodist Church will be collecting boxes November 15-22.
Operation Christmas Child Press Release:
Tallahassee, FL NOV. 3, 2010—
Christmas is arriving early in Tallahassee, as Tallahassee Heights United Methodist Church prepares to serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child. Soon, with the help of local volunteers, the site will be brimming with festively wrapped shoe boxes full of gifts.
Through Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project, Tallahassee residents are helping send shoe box gifts this year to more than 8 million children in 100 countries suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty. From Tallahassee, the shoe box gifts will be sorted and sent using whatever means necessary—sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats, camels, even dog sleds—to reach suffering children around the world.
Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to “follow your box” to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org. Print out the online labels that include a barcode as labels on your shoe boxes.
LOCAL COLLECTION SITES:
Tallahassee Heights United Methodist Church
3004 Mahan Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Mon- Sat: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Mon: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Faith Apostolic Christian Tabernacle Services
613 Chattahoochee Street
Chattahoochee, FL 32324
Mon- Fri: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sun: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mon: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Last year, Tallahassee Heights United Methodist Church contributed 7,550 to join the Operation Christmas Child effort. This year, organizers hope to collect over 10,000 gift-filled shoe boxes from families, kids, churches, schools and civic organizations in the area.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 77 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in some 130 countries.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO GET INVOLVED:
PREPARE—Enlist families, churches, scout troops, community groups and businesses to take part in creating shoe box gifts for needy children worldwide.
PACK—Fill shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, hard candy and a letter of encouragement. Step-by-step shoe box packing instructions are available at www.samaritanspurse.org.
PROCESS—Sign up to join Operation Christmas Child volunteers at collection sites in Tallahassee as part of the effort to prepare millions of shoe box gifts for delivery to underprivileged kids on six continents.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 1-800-353-5949 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week is Nov. 15-22.