GENESEE COUNTY — As a new school year approaches, traditional back-to-school activities ramp up and families fill the aisles shopping for school materials, clothes and all the right digital gear to help students return to the classroom ready to learn.
For many area families, however, the season for student discounts and bargain bins also presents a great opportunity to help other children in need.
“Many children around the world miss an opportunity for schooling because they lack the means to purchase a pencil and paper. That’s one of the reasons why our family always includes school supplies in the shoeboxes that we pack,” said David Zimmerman, the Great Lakes Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child.
Operation Christmas Child has more than 100,000 year-round volunteers nationwide who serve to help pack and send nearly 9.9 million gift-filled shoeboxes last year to more than 100 countries to children struggling from war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. The shoebox gifts included toys, school supplies and basic hygiene items.
This November, Operation Christmas Child volunteers will support thousands of drop-off sites nationwide, where giftfilled shoeboxes will be collected and transported with a wide variety of resources, including bicycles, camels and canoes. Each shoebox will eventually be hand-delivered to a child in need. For many children, this represents the first gift they have ever received.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 113 million children in more than 150 countries. In 2014, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 10 million children.
Details: Call 937-374-0761 or visit samaritanspurse.org. – G.G.