Collection begins for annual Operation Christmas Child project

Pastor Trish Chapman

Ed. Note — This guest column on Operation Christmas Child was provided by Pastor Trish Chapman.

It is time to begin collecting for Operation Christmas Child, our annual mission project. We invite the area churches, schools, clubs and civic groups to collect items for a shoebox that is shipped to children who have never received a gift in their life.

This is a continuing mission project in our community. Last year volunteers packed 520 shoeboxes! Working with the Boy and Girl Scouts, area volunteers and churches, and the schools, we collected items to bless those children who received the boxes we sent out.

Following is a brief history of Operation Christmas Child and suggested items we need to fill boxes. If you would like to make a monetary donation, please make it payable to Galva First United Methodist Church and we will purchase items we need. Also, monetary donations for postage is appreciated at a fee of $9 per box shipped. We thankfully appreciate any and all support given for this project

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Our mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.

Our local ministry partners distribute your shoeboxes to children in their communities. After receiving shoebox gifts, many boys and girls are invited to enroll in The Greatest Journey, our 12-lesson discipleship program. Through the program, our local ministry partners are able to establish long-term, caring relationships with children and families by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

Suggested items —Comb, hairbrush, toothbrush, washcloth, bar soap (packaged and/or in a container), adhesive bandages (colorful ones can help a child be more willing to wear a bandage —do not include liquid antibiotic ointment), reusable plastic containers, cup, water bottle, plate, bowl, blunt-edged utensils (consider filling an empty container with non-liquid items such as hair bows, bracelets, sunglasses, or washcloths to maximize the space) and blanket (light weight).

Pencils, small manual pencil sharpener, colored pencils, pencil case, pens, crayons, markers, coloring pads, coloring books, picture book, notebooks, glue stick (do not include liquid glue), playdough (consider adding plastic cookie cutters as non-sharp utensils the child can use with the playdough), stickers, skipping rope/jump rope, make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets

There are some restrictions of items allowed to be shipped. Please do not donate any used items, war-related items (guns, knives, tanks), glass or liquid items, candy, chocolate, toothpaste, sharp items or lotions.

Stuffed animals (Beanie Babies, teddy bears are the right size) or musical instruments — like tambourines, kazoos, noise makers — are a fun “WOW” gift we need for every box.

The Galva First United Methodist Church is the location here in Galva to fill the shoeboxes in November.

Items to be donated can be brought to any of the local churches or to Galva First UMC by calling 932-2460. We will be setting up our date to fill boxes and we will include this information in a article soon. Thank you for your support and help!

Pastor Trish Chapman, Brenda Holmes and Pat Hurd, co-chairs of Operation Christmas Child.