By LESLIE HUENKE
This past November, Christian Elementary continued a tradition of creating holiday-themed boxes for Operation Christmas Child to then be distributed to children in need. Christian Elementary has worked with Operation Christmas Child for over 10 years. Each year, the students fill a shoebox with a variety of items for children, including toys, school supplies, clothes and hygiene products. For older children, they may include items like sewing or fishing kits. The school also includes a small booklet in the box in the child’s native language.
“My kids love picking out an age range and thinking about what that child would want,” Becky Turner, marketing and volunteer coordinator at Christian Elementary, said. “We shop just for that child, and then we include a letter and picture so the child knows who sent the box. We pray for them, specifically, that they would be blessed by the box and know that God loves them.”
Each year, the students decorate a Christmas tree and put the boxes under the tree. The students then pray over the boxes. The school typically donates about 200 boxes per year.
“I love that some of the students use their own money to buy items to fill their shoeboxes,” Sarah Spuhl, a preschool teacher at Christian Elementary, said. “Christmas is a time for giving, and what a great way to teach a child to give without expecting anything in return.”
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world since 1970.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org.