Nov 13, 2009 3:04 PM by sleonard
LAFAYETTE, La., Nov. 13, 2009-Today the Lafayette community is a picture of compassion in action-as families are working hard to collect thousands of gift-filled shoe boxes. Their efforts are part of Operation Christmas Child, a kids-helping-kids project that uses these simple gifts to let hurting children know that they are loved and not forgotten.
Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is the world's largest Christmas project. Kids, families, schools, churches and community groups participate by filling shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, candy and a letter of encouragement. The shoe boxes are then hand-delivered to hurting children around the world using whatever means necessary-sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, helicopters, boats, camels, even dog sleds.
"Our small effort right now can impact a child's life forever," said Berta Achee, an Operation Christmas Child volunteer. "The shoe boxes carry a message of hope that transcends all barriers-language, cultural, religious, geographical and political."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Operation Christmas Child is underway RIGHT NOW, and Lafayette families hope to collect 6,000 shoe box gifts for children suffering from poverty, war, disease, famine and natural disaster.
* Shoe Box Collection-NOV. 16-23, several drop-off sites in the Lafayette area are buzzing with activity for National Collection Week. (After Nov. 23, shoe box gifts can be mailed to Samaritan's Purse: 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C. 28607).
* "How To"-A downloadable graphic of how Lafayette-area readers/viewers can participate in the project is available at www.DeMossNews.com/occ. Lafayette-area residents can deliver their shoe box gifts to one of a number of drop-off locations. For more information on the nearest drop-off location, visit www.samaritanspurse.org or call (800) 353-5949.
In 1993, Samaritan's Purse kicked-off Operation Christmas Child in the United States with just 28,000 shoe box gifts. Since then, the project has collected more than 69 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to needy children in more than 130 countries.