By Nancy Burke
Special to The PREVIEW
Millions of hurting children who are victims of poverty, natural disaster, war, terrorism and famine receive Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. For some of these boys and girls, it is the first gift they have ever received. Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope through Jesus Christ, these children learn that they are loved and not forgotten. Many countries also offer a 12-week follow-up discipleship program through local churches.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child reached a milestone — delivering shoeboxes to more than 100 million children since the project began in 1993. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2013.
Generous individuals, families and groups in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and 10 additional countries expect to fill more than 9 million shoeboxes with gifts for needy children in 2013. Right now, kids, families, churches, scout troops, schools, civic clubs and businesses are filling their shoeboxes. Samaritan’s Purse will be collecting gift-filled shoeboxes at more than 3,500 drop-off sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico during National Collection Week, Nov. 18-25, 2013.
The collection site in Pagosa Springs is at CrossRoad Christian Fellowship starting Monday, Nov. 18, and ending Monday, Nov. 25. Bring your gift-filled boxes to the church located at 1044 Park Ave. (adjacent to the PLPOA Recreation Center) at the following times:
• Monday, Nov. 18 — 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 19 – l-3 p.m.
• Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 20-23 — 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 24 — 1-5 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 25 — 9-10 a.m.
It’s not too late to start filling shoeboxes for special kids that need your love. Brochures are available at businesses around town or by going online to www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. You can even fill a shoebox online if you don’t have time to shop! You select the items you want put in the box, and Samaritan’s Purse will pack it for you.
For more information, call Nancy Burke at 731-5901.