Last week I went to Charlotte, NC to volunteer at an Operation Christmas Child (OCC) processing center. This is about my tenth time volunteering with OCC over the last few years. I absolutely love volunteering and supporting the mission of OCC. I have seen the difference they are making and it’s amazing to even play a tiny part of that. OCC is a project founded by Samaritan’s Purse. Each Christmas, Samaritan’s purse encourages people and churches nationwide to pack a shoebox filled with toys and packed with love and prayer to send to children living in poverty worldwide. These shoeboxes are then collected by churches and delivered to one of nine processing centers in the United States. Here, volunteers come to inspect each box to make sure that each box is full and filled with safe items for the children receiving it. From there, the boxes make their journey into the hands of a child. Every step of the process is guided by prayer and rooted in the gospel.
Volunteering with Operation Christmas Child at a processing center and packing a shoebox is always a highlight of my Christmas season. I love the work they are doing! Going through the boxes and seeing all the love that goes into each and every box fills me with joy. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the experience is every night, the whole warehouse pauses to pray over the boxes being processed. There’s something so exciting about being a part of something bigger than yourself and seeing so many people come together to serve in love and to share the good news of Jesus. OCC always reminds me of what Christmas is truly about! So, how can you help?
It’s simple. Find a shoebox and pack it with toys, you can visit Samaritan’s Purse’s website to learn more about what to pack (link below), and include $7 to cover shipping costs. Find a local church collecting boxes and drop it off. You can also sign up to volunteer at a Processing Center with a group from your church. Most importantly, however, you can pray for these boxes. Pray that God will use these ordinary boxes in extraordinary ways. Pray for the children receiving these boxes. And pray that God uses these boxes as a tool to shine His light.
This is just a little bit about what Samaritan’s Purse is doing through Operation Christmas Child! You can learn more about their mission and how you can help at Samaritan’s Purse’s website.