Operation Christmas Child has collected over 880,000 shoeboxes to send to children in need around the world.
Operation Christmas Child UK has confirmed that it has collected over 880,000 shoebox gifts in its latest campaign.
The campaign is run by Samaritan’s Purse, the disaster relief organisation spearheaded by Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy Graham.
Operating for 24 years, the project sees volunteers pack a shoebox with gifts. Ranging from school supplies and hygiene items, through to a unique WOW item, they are given to children in need regardless of race, religion, gender or any other characteristic.
This year Operation Christmas Child was able to provide shoeboxes to hundreds of thousands of children, thanks to the support of individuals, organisations and churches across the UK.
Nick Cole, Director of Operation Christmas Child in the UK, explains why the support of the churches has been so vital.
“Every shoebox gift delivered by Operation Christmas Child is a tangible expression of God’s amazing love. But a shoebox is just the beginning. It also presents an opportunity in more than 100 countries for our church partners to invite children into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ”
“The shoeboxes are distributed through local churches, to those children most in need. Having churches across the UK pack the shoebox gifts is a great way to support their brothers and sisters across the world”.
Children who receive a shoebox gift are invited by their local church to go on The Greatest Journey.
This follow up Bible course, features 12 fun and interactive lessons and is taught by local volunteers trained by Samaritan’s Purse. The programme is offered free of charge, without obligation and with the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
“we can’t express enough the impact that the churches in the UK are having. We had record levels of support for The Greatest Journey in 2016, allowing us to reach more children than ever before.
The local church in the UK is a powerful and excellent partner and I want to thank each and every person that packed a shoebox”.
Shoeboxes from the UK were distributed to 17 countries, including to countries with large refugee populations.
Samaritan’s Purse also works with communities in need to deliver disaster response. Last week they flew an aircraft of supplies into Mosul and have also established an emergency field hospital just outside the city.
Simon Barrington, Executive Director of Samaritan’s Purse believes that Operation Christmas Child allows this to happen.
He said “When the UK church stands with us through Operation Christmas Child, we are able to build relationships with communities who’d otherwise be difficult to reach and support. Delivering shoeboxes in Nepal meant we had the connection to be the first on the ground when the earthquake struck in 2015 and we are also one of the largest organisations supporting refugees across the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Samaritan’s Purse is committed to helping in Jesus’ name, whoever needs us. I want to thank the UK church for helping us support those in turmoil”.
Operation Christmas Child www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk
The Greatest Journey – www.thegreatestjourney.org.uk
Samaritan’s Purse- www.samaritans-purse.org.uk
Press and Media Officer
07825 056 426