[Louise Hal-Fead | Contributing Writer]
Operation Christmas Child was introduced by the Samaritan’s Purse, which is a Christian humanitarian organisation that aspires to provide aid to those in need of it as an integral part of what they refer to as “Christian missionary work.” Some of you are likely to have heard of it, either through participation, throughout your time in education, or even religion-related events. The main reason I was captured by it is through the fact that I used to do it as a young child. I was able to spread joy to someone of a similar age, who happened to be in a worse economic condition than myself. But now, as a university student, it is just as important.
The basic idea behind the scheme is to deliver shoe boxes full of presented to children all over the world for Christmas. Children who, without this, would not have anything to open on what is considered to be a child’s favourite day of the year.
Most boxes include practical gifts like toiletries and stationary. However, it is quite useful to be creative in terms of what you produce by perhaps including cuddly toys and pictures, which will make the person receiving the gift know that they matter to you, even if you are miles apart.
The shoe boxes aren’t subjective to one particular area or social group in fact, according to the Samaritan’s Purse Website, “Since 1990, more than 124 million boys and girls in over 150 countries have experienced God’s love.”
It is also important to emphasise the religious importance to the organisation in running such a scheme. The Samaritan’s Purse have begun a new scheme entitled The Greatest Journey Discipleship Programme, which was only made possible through Operation Christmas Child. Its mission is to provide dynamic and interactive Bible study use in countries around the world where Operation Christmas Child distributes gift-filled shoe boxes. This allows girls and boys to become followers of the Christian faith.
So why not get started now? In four simple steps, you could make a child’s Christmas this year. Firstly, by finding an empty shoe box, choosing and printing which sex and age category you wish to send the shoe box to, filling it with a variety of delightful gifts, and finally, adding your £3 shipping donation and taking it to a drop off point between the 1st-18th November. These drop off points will be subject to location and noted on their website.