BROKEN BOW—The annual collection week for Operation Christmas Child is November 16 through November 23 and even during a global pandemic, Samaritan’s Purse is determined to collect more shoeboxes than ever before to give hope to children around the world.
The Samaritan’s Purse shoebox gift project involves packing a shoebox with hygiene items, school supplies, toys, and other items for kids. The organization has sent shoebox gifts to more than 178 million children in more than 150 countries since 1993.
The Custer County Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, Kourtney Ogle, said she has been packing shoeboxes since she was little and hopes to involve the local community in making a worldwide impact. Ogle is taking over for Fae Beaumont who has been involved since 2006 but is taking a break from coordinating and is instead concentrating on packing shoeboxes.
“I was a little hesitant about actually being the leader but I think God is going to give me all the tools that I need so I’ve been doing some training on this. I’ve been involved with the shoeboxes ever since I was little, packing them with my family. I think this is just a bigger step to get involved with something I thoroughly enjoy,” Ogle said.
Ogle said Operation Christmas Child has a goal of raising 11 million shoeboxes this year. Boxes are sent all over the world, but a child will only receive a box one time. She said the easiest way to get involved is to go to the store and think like a child!
Whether it is a regular shoebox, a six-quart plastic box, or an Operation Christmas Child specific box, volunteers can pack school supplies, pencils, notebooks, crayons, socks, bars of soap, washcloths, toothbrushes, and/or small toys such as dominoes or a spinning top. Ogle said an important item to include is a “wow item” such as a doll, stuffed animal, a soccer ball, etc.
Prohibited items are candy, toothpaste, gum, used/damaged items, war related items such as toy soldiers or toy weapons, seeds, food, liquids, lotions, medications, vitamins, breakables, glass, and aerosol cans.
Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2–4, 5–9, or 10–14. Box labels, tracking labels, and instructions on how to pack a shoebox can be found on the Samaritan’s Purse website. A $9 donation is also required with each shoebox.
“It’s pretty simple: you pack a shoebox and every shoebox that gets sent to different countries is actually a gospel opportunity which is their [Operation Christmas Child’s] main goal. Their mission is to spread the love of God to children and their families around the world. With each gift, it’s an opportunity to show God’s love and for them to hear the gospel,” Ogle told KCNI/KBBN.
Once filled, shoeboxes can be dropped off at the Broken Bow Evangelical Free Church Challenge Center Building located at 2079 Memorial Dr, Broken Bow, NE 68822. Groups donating several boxes are asked to call ahead and curbside drop off will also be available this week. Contact Kourtney Ogle at 308-870-1261 with questions.
Drop Off Dates and Times at the Broken Bow E-Free Church:
Monday, November 16: 2-6 p.m.
Tuesday, November 17: 2-6 p.m.
Wednesday, November 18: 2-6 p.m.
Thursday, November 19: 2-6 p.m.
Friday, November 20: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday, November 21: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunday, November 22: 1-4 p.m.
Monday, November 23: 8-10 a.m.