Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
Every year, we enjoy participating in a Christmas service project. Last year, we made a donation in honor of our clients to Designs for Hope to purchase water filters. This is a wonderful initiative, but our employees found themselves missing the opportunity to actually get their hands busy with a project.
Packing shoeboxes for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child project was the perfect solution. We craved a hands-on experience that allowed us to literally give of ourselves to help others.
The story of the Good Samaritan gives a clear picture of God’s desire for us to help those in desperate need wherever we find them. For more than 40 years, Samaritan’s Purse has done what they can to follow this command by aiding the world’s poor, sick and suffering.
Operation Christmas Child is one of their initiatives with the mission to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world. In the countries where shoeboxes are sent, local ministry partners distribute them to children in their communities. In many places, a discipleship program called The Greatest Journey is offered to children after they receive their shoebox gifts. Through the program, ministry partners are able to establish long-term, caring relationships with children and families.
When packing our shoeboxes, some employees shopped and prepared their boxes at home, while many of us bought items and packed them together in our training room. We shared gifts to make sure we could fit as much as possible into each box. We followed some tips about the best way to pack a shoebox, like including a deflated soccer ball with a pump and extra batteries for light up and noise making toys.
We also tried to choose items we know will bring a smile and joy to a child. I believe we all would agree that packing the shoeboxes was nearly as much fun for us as it will be for the children to open them.
And it’s not too late if you’d like to pack a shoebox as well! You can actually pack and send shoeboxes year round, which would be a great idea for summer projects when the kids need something to do. Right now, you can also build a shoebox online here.