Operation Christmas Child aims to provide basis needs to struggling families worldwide

Monday, November 13, 2017
Samaritan’s Purse project, through Operation Christmas Child, looks to provide children in poverty with hygiene products, school supplies and a small gift for the holidays. (Above) A child in Togo, Africa, hugs stuffed animals she received from Operation Christmas Child. (Photo submitted)

Good News Community Church in Okoboji is currently taking shoeboxes prepared with small gifts and necessities for needy families worldwide. This is the seventh year that Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization, has provide its Operation Christmas Child program.

Participating is simple. Select the gender and age range of the child receiving the gift. Pack a shoebox with supplies without an expiration date such as soap and then take the package to Good News Community Church in Okoboji. There the package will be placed in a large container and taken to the central drop off in Worthington, Minnesota. From Worthington, the containers will be shipped to the Twin Cities where they will be put on trains headed to the East Coast where they will be put on ships and sent to different countries around the world.

“I think for us we have so much that we can help these children who have so little,” said Joyce Klosterbuer, logistics coordinator for Operation Christmas Child. “It is the only gift these children get in their lifetime, and just think of how many gifts we get in our lifetime.”

Klosterbuer recently visited Togo, Africa, one of the sites the program serves.

“I wish that everyone who packs a box could have the experience and see the children’s faces,” Klosterbuer said.

Along with the care package, recipient families will also receive a Bible study program called the “Greatest Journey.”

“Our church mission is to spread the gospel, and by sending packages like this all around the world and giving kids a chance to participate in the “Greatest Journey” Bible study, we are spreading the gospel,” Klosterbuer said. “By doing that, each box that is packed spreads the message to seven to 10 people who may be hearing about Jesus for the first time.”

Each shoebox requires a $9 donation to cover critical shipping and ministry costs.

The Okoboji drop-off location, Good News Community Church, is open Nov. 14 and 18 from 9 a.m. to noon. Additional drop-off times include: Nov. 15 from 5-7 p.m., Nov. 19 from noon to 2 p.m. and Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon.

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