How Can a Shoe Box Change a Life?

1 Nov

Today I’m taking a timeout from the usual wedding chit-chat to tell you about a cause that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s called Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency. The idea of the project is simple: fill a shoe box with small items (toys, tooth brushes, socks, crayons, etc), drop it off at a collection site, and track it as it travels across the world to a child in need.

The shoe box can change the course of a child’s life. For some, this is the first gift they’ve ever received. Along with the small items, each box arrives with “The Greatest Journey” booklets, sharing the love of Christ in the child’s native language.

As a volunteer for the organization, I’ve gotten to hear the testimonies of people who received an OCC shoe box as a child. One that stands out in my mind is the story of Lelja  – but I’ll let her tell you in her own words.

The Lejla Allison Story from Samaritan’s Purse on Vimeo.

In the seven processing centers around the country (including in our very own Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights), there were  more than 327,313 volunteer hours in the 2010 season. Over 5.5 million shoe boxes were collected last year and traveled around the world to kids in need.

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child is coming soon. Collection sites will be filling with shoe boxes from November 14-21. Check out Drop-Off Locations to find a collection site near you. You can be a key part in changing a child’s life this year. Blessings and thanks for reading!

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