BROKEN BOW—Delivering joy as well as tangible expressions of God’s love is what the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child project provides for children in need around the world. The national Operation Christmas Child “shoebox” Collection Week is November 15-22 and local donations can be dropped off at the Broken Bow Evangelical Free Church at 2079 Memorial Drive.
From Broken Bow, local coordinator Kourtney Ogle will take the boxes to North Platte and from there Operation Christmas Child will take the boxes to Denver to be sent around the world.
Drop Off Dates and Times at the Broken Bow E-Free Church:
Monday, November 15: 3-6 p.m.
Tuesday, November 16: 5-7 p.m.
Wednesday, November 17: 3-5 p.m.
Thursday, November 18: 5-7 p.m.
Friday, November 19: 2-5 p.m.
Saturday, November 20: 2-5 p.m.
Sunday, November 21: 2-4 p.m.
Monday, November 22: 8-10 a.m.
The Samaritan’s Purse 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 188 million children in more than 170 countries/territories since 1993.
The Custer County Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child Kourtney Ogle said simply taking the time to pack a gift box could potentially change someone’s life.
“For a lot of these kids it might be the first gift that they have ever received so we really want to make sure that each box that’s packed is packed with quality items because you want this to be a really good box for them. And then also with each box that is sent it’s an opportunity for them to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and so every single child will get to hear that when they receive the box,” Ogle told KCNI/KBBN.
In addition to the gift distribution, Ogle said kids from around the world are invited to do a 12-lesson discipleship program with volunteers in their area to learn about Jesus and the Bible. Ogle said kids then share the Gospel with their families and new churches have even been built in areas that once were the recipients of Operation Christmas Child gifts.
“Seeing that impact: Wow! Just packing one simple shoebox makes a huge impact in the later end,” she continued.
Kourtney Ogle encourages people to pack a box with your kids, as a family, youth group, coworkers, etc.
“What I love is just individual families doing it together like one or two boxes with your kids. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids about giving to others. Instead of just receiving, it’s giving,” Ogle said.
Boxes are sent all over the world, but a child will only receive a box one time. Whether it is a regular shoebox, a six-quart plastic box, or a pre-printed Operation Christmas Child specific box, volunteers can pack new, quality items such as toys (balls, yo-yos, cars, dolls), hair accessories, socks, school supplies, notebooks, crayons, non-liquid hygiene items, bars of soap, washcloths, toothbrushes, etc. Ogle said an important item to include is a “wow item” such as a doll, stuffed animal, a soccer ball with a pump, 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. The donation covers shipping costs and also goes toward the collection process, training local people in the churches to teach kids about Jesus, and Gospel booklets.
Labels and donations can be completed online as well as build a shoebox online. Ogle told KCNI/KBBN it can be nice to include a note and picture and also encourages everyone to pray over their boxes.
Once filled, shoeboxes can be dropped off at the Broken Bow Evangelical Free Church. Contact the church at 308-872-3000 or Kourtney Ogle at 308-870-1261 with any questions.