Operation Christmas Child collects shoe boxes of dreams

It’s holiday season, and for those taking part in Samaritan’s Purse, it’s shoe box season.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:09 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s holiday season, and for those taking part in Samaritan’s Purse, it’s shoe box season. The humanitarian campaign known as Operation Christmas Child is in full swing.

Inside these shoe boxes are gifts and messages of hope for children around the world.

This is part of the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child campaign. New Hope Baptist Church in Gulfport is a drop-off and distribution site.

“It’s been in existence since 1993 when the Bosnian War was going on. They requested gifts in shoe boxes, so the first year, 25,000 shoe boxes were issued to Bosnian kids. Now, we’re going to go past 200 million boxes to kids all over the globe in 170 countries, said logistics coordinator Doug Bradford.

Eleven countries take part in the effort. Here’s how it works: shoe boxes are filled through churches and civic organizations and they’re delivered to drop-off points across the nation.

“We have 4,5000 of these centers going all over the country. Everyone is collecting boxes. Our goal is 11 million boxes. It’s not about the gifts in the box, it’s about touching the lives of children with the gospel,” Bradford said.

This is a non-denominational program, so donations come in from all over.

“We have the story about one man who’s part of our ministry who got a yo-yo, and he carries that yo-yo to remind him of his youth. and how he got it from a Christmas box,” Bradford said.

We’re told all of the shoe boxes will be distributed around the world between now and February.

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.