Members of the East Clinton Beta and Science Clubs and their teachers packed 32 shoebox gifts on Nov. 5 for Operation Christmas Child to send to children around the world. These shoeboxes included school supplies, toys and hygiene items.
To help the students understand the impact one shoebox gift can have on a child, Barbara Lanctot, Operation Christmas Child Area Coordinator for South Central Ohio, shared her experiences distributing shoeboxes to children near Arusha, Tanzania in June.
Lanctot took the students to Tanzania through pictures and videos to give them an idea of what it’s like for the shoebox recipient to receive, in some cases, their first gift.
Two impact stories Lanctot shared included a 13-year old boy excited about pencils he received. He told her, “I wasn’t going to be able to go back to school because my parents can’t afford school supplies. He wants to be a doctor and open a clinic in his village so the people no longer have to walk 30 minutes to the nearest clinic.
“A 3-year old girl came to the shoebox distribution wearing broken sandals and worn-out socks. This little girl received sandals and socks in her shoebox!”
Not too late
It’s not too late to pack a shoebox gift — National Collection Week is Nov. 18-25 and people in Clinton County can bring their filled shoeboxes to Calvary Baptist Church, 1920 St. Rt. 22 W, Wilmington, Monday-Friday from noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.; Sunday from noon until 6 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 25 from 9-11 a.m.
You can also bring your filled shoeboxes to the Blanchester Church of Christ, 911 Cherry St., Monday and Tuesday from 4-6 p.m.; Wednesday from 5-7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday from 4-6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2: p.m.; and Monday 9-11 a.m.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Since 1993 Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million shoeboxes to children in over 160 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.