Shoe box project for children
This has been a busy week for families, churches and other groups, locally and elsewhere, who have been packing shoe boxes full of holiday treats for children overseas.
The effort, known as Operation Christmas Child, is led by international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse.
"We have so much to be thankful for here in America. Most of us have a roof over our heads, beds with pillows to sleep on, and food on our table," Joe Christian, Operation Christmas Child's regional director, told a Southeast Missourian reporter for a recent story. "But for many children living overseas, tough living conditions and extreme poverty have left them with little hope.
"It is amazing to see the joy on children's faces when they receive these gifts. It can be a tangible reminder that they are loved and not forgotten, despite their difficult circumstances."
Each box contains one large toy, or "wow" item, such as a doll or ball, along with smaller toys, school supplies, toiletries and, best of all, notes of encouragement.
The goal for this year's drive was to collect enough gifts to reach more than 11 million children in some of the world's most remote places.
Operation Christmas Child is a poignant example of what the Christmas season is all about. We commend everyone who has invested time, money and energy in such a worthy project, and encourage them to keep up those kinds of efforts all year 'round.