The national collection week for Samaritan’s Purse’s worldwide children’s project Operation Christmas Child is underway.
Each gift-filled shoeboxes containing school supplies, toys, necessity items and notes of encouragement is hand delivered to children in more than 100 countries.
Franklin Graham, president and chief executive officer of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said the annual holiday project serves as a reminder of God’s gift to humanity, a reminder that hurting children throughout the world are not forgotten.
In an interview with On Faith founder Sally Quinn, Graham discussed the annual holiday outreach program that reaches children around the world. Graham said the first deliveries took place in Bosnia during the war 20 years ago; this year Operation Christmas Child expects to collect and deliver its 100 millionth shoebox gift. The program expects to collect 9 million shoeboxes this year, he said.
“I want children around the world to know that God loves them and this is Christmas. God gave his son. He came to this earth to take our sins. So God gave his sin and I want the world to know that Christmas it’s about God loving us and giving to us.”
How to help:
National Collection Week started Monday and ends Monday, Nov. 19. Shoeboxes may be dropped off at more than 3,200 sites throughout the country and in Puerto Rico. To find the nearest drop-off location, call 1-800-353-5949 or visit the Operation Christmas Child Web site. After Nov. 19, shoeboxes may be packed through “Build a Box,” an online tool. Gifts are also received throughout the year at Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.
More On Faith:
Anne Graham Lotz: Does God hear our cries?
Sally Quinn: Sins of the son