(Image ©Samaritans Purse 2015 via https://samaritanspurse.exposure.co/beyond-beaches)
Have you ever given someone a gift, and literally watched their eyes fill with delight? I’ve been privileged enough to witness this a few times in my life, and it’s magical. I was blessed with a mother who has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. When I was young, she worked as a nurse. She was the special kind of nurse who would become a part of whatever family she was working with. I remember on many occasions riding along with her to the store to buy groceries, then taking said groceries to the house of someone I’d never seen before. They would meet her at the door, see what she had done, then their eyes would fill with tears of both joy and sorrow and they would hug her and cry. My mom would stand there as long as they needed her, and cry with them. I had no idea what was happening nor did I know what that person was facing. But I knew that whatever my mom just did had changed that person.
Since the holiday season is quickly approaching (10 weeks until Christmas!?) I thought now is the perfect time to mention Samaritans Purse. This organization has numerous relief projects, ranging from agricultural to construction to disaster relief. But one of it’s most unique projects is Operation Christmas Child. In this project, you pack a shoe box with toys, treats, school supplies, and even hygiene products. Once your box is packed, it gets collected and shipped off to children around the globe. You can track your box to find out where it goes, and even send a letter along with it and maybe get a response back! Included with each gift is a small, colorful book about the Gospel. While I realize not everyone is religious, I think one thing we can all relate to is hope, which is something these boxes can give. It’s amazing how just a little bit of hope for something better can change a persons life.
One of my favorite aspects of this project is the opportunity for someone to receive a gift with the same amount of joy and delight as described above. Some of these children will not have this kind of opportunity again. To be able to give something like that is, truly, priceless!
If you want to follow them via social media, here are a few accounts:
- OCC Shoeboxes Twitter
- OCC UK Twitter
- Samaritans Purse Twitter
- OCC Facebook
- Samaritans Purse You Tube
The national collection week for these packed shoe boxes is November 16-23, which leaves you a good 3-4 weeks to get them packed! You can find all kinds of resources to help you out here. A little love goes a long ways, sometimes all around the world. Cheers!