CHARITY: Not too early to help Operation Christmas Child

Rev. Doug Forbes

Operation Christmas Child is the largest missions effort of its kind, and it enriches the lives of millions of children around the world. In the U.S., Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, conducts a special program each year known as “Operation Christmas Child.”

Each year, children across America fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and other items and send them to Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization. These shoeboxes are delivered to millions of children affected by poverty, disease, disaster and war. Last year nearly 8 million shoeboxes filled by our children were sent around the world.

Our grandchildren love to go shopping to help pick out the items they wish to send to a child in need. They bring the items they have collected to their school where they fill and wrap shoeboxes with their classmates.

You could also do this at your house of worship, service organization or as a family. These simple gifts remind children in many countries that a child in the United States loves and cares about them. It also reminds him or her of God’s great love for everyone.

Some of the countries to receive shoeboxes last year included: Malawi, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Burkina, Faso, Ghana, Zambia, Russia, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Macedonia, Honduras, Kosovo, Brazil, El Salvador and Argentina.

Let’s join together with our children now to prepare for the holiday season by helping this worthy effort or another charity of your choice that helps to meet the needs of our world’s children.

For more information about Operation Christmas Child or to find the nearest drop off center, call 1-800-353-5948, or visit their website at Collection centers will be open from Nov. 15 to Nov. 22 to receive your shoeboxes filled with great stuff and a lot of love.

The Rev. Doug Forbes coaches the ski and snowboard team at New Hope Christian Chapel in beautiful Easton, Massachusetts. He can be reached at