Operation ‘Christmas Child’ in full swing

Pastor Trish Chapman, and OCC coordinators Pat Hurd and Brenda Holmes

(Ed. Note —This guest column is courtesy of Pastor Trish Chapman, and OCC coordinators Pat Hurd and Brenda Holmes.)

Friends and families of the Galva and surrounding communities, we are preparing to fill our Operation Christmas Child boxes.

This is an outreach project to the world. We, as the body of Christ, meet the needs of the children of the world to know Christ and grow in their faith.

 Life in the countries we reach is tough. Most of the children we reach have never received a gift in their life. Think about your family. They have so much and do they really appreciate how much they have? The children who receive these boxes do not know what a gift is and really love the smallest of gifts. The children we have form a long-time relationship with the one who packed it or in some cases, they even get married to each other. Can you believe this? It is true.

 We are collecting small toys (new), school supplies, shoes, socks, clothing and musical instruments to pack in these shoeboxes. They are to areas in Africa, Mexico, Central America, and other countries across the world. Hair supplies, books, crayons and notebooks can make a difference in a child’s life.

 Last year we packed 462 boxes that went to Madagascar, Liberia and Tanzania to make a child’s life a little better. This year our goal is 500 boxes from Galva community alone. We are one of the largest contributors in the area. We fill the boxes and then they are shipped out to the world. A child who has never even gotten a present in their life will receive this box and find joy in a yo-yo, doll, crayons or a stuffed animal. Can you imagine? The difference this makes to these children is fantastic.

 The children of the world see the love and grace of God. Each box has a copy of the Gospel Story and other religious items to make an impact. Out of the 500,000 children who receive a box, over three quarters will find Christ and make a transformation to be a Christian. God is at work all over this world because of this event.

 If you do not wish to donate items, please consider donating $9 per box for shipping. This $9 covers cost for training, shipping, costs for workers, and other costs. $9 is not a lot to ask. We need $4,500 to cover shipping for 500 boxes. Please consider donating $9 per box. You can make your tax deductible donation to OCC (Operation Christmas Child). and give it to your church or send to Galva First United Methodist Church for us to send on to the OCC distribution center. Make a difference and feel the growth in Jesus Christ across the world!

Here is the list of essentials for each box —soap and washcloth, toothbrushes, comb and/or brush, 70-page notebook, pens/pencils/pencil sharpener, crayons 16-24 count/color pencils/markers, erasers, glue sticks and toys and/or games.

Each box also includes a “WOW” item for the kids. Some ideas for a “WOW” item — gloves, hat, socks, clothing items, flip-flops/shoes/slippers, stuffed animal, coloring book/books, misc. school items, solar calculator, hygiene items (nothing liquid), small music toys, boys (duck tape, flashlight with extra set batteries) and girls (dolls, hair items and jewelry).

If you would like to fill a box on your own, you can use a standard shoebox that is wrapped (lid and bottom separately please). We have labels to go on the box that tells if it is for a boy or girl and the age range.

We will be having a packing party and will have details in an upcoming article. Please try to plan to volunteer with us and join the fun. The filling box party lasts about 1 1/2 hours and we appreciate any time you can devote to helping us. Many hands make light work! Blessings to all.