Black Friday is just around the corner, which means toys will be flying off the shelves for children young and old. But, not everyone is fortunate enough to receive a gift they can call their own.
Operation Christmas Child has been trying to change that since 1993. Donation centers, like the one at Silver Creek Church in Harvey, have helped more than 100 million children in 130 third-world countries experience Christmas with a simple shoebox.
“These children don’t usually get gifts,” said Katherine Olson, who has been volunteering at the Silver Creek chapter for over twelve years. “They count the number of children in the villages, including their ages. The missionaries bring the gifts in, even on camel, donkey, whatever; however they can get it to them. They go in there, they give them the shoebox, and along with the shoebox, they give them the story of Christmas; the story of Jesus.”
Last year they collected close to 1,4000 donations.
If you want to help, you can fill an empty shoe box with toiletries like deodorant and shampoo, a toy or stuffed animal, and any other goodies for kids 2 to 14 years old. Then, you can drop it off at Silver Creek Church now through this Saturday.
“If you don’t want to pack a box, you don’t have to. You can send a $7 donation to Samaritan’s Purse online. That’s what it costs for each box. If you want to track your box, you can track your box by going online. When it gets delivered to the country and the area they’re going to be in, you’ll get a message saying where it was delivered and who it was delivered to,” Olson added.
If you’d like more information about the operation, visit www.samaritanspurse.org.