Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas ChildOperation Christmas Child is a branch of Samaritan’s Purse, an organisation providing emergency relief and development assistance to suffering people around the world, including in New Zealand. The aid is given without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, creed or gender.
Operation Christmas Child is a non-profit, Christian charitable organisation giving people of all ages an opportunity to be involved in a simple hands-on project while focusing on the true meaning of giving, doing something tangible rather than just donating money. Individuals are invited to fill a shoe box for children ages 2years to 14 years living in poverty stricken areas in Fiji, Samoa, Cambodia, Vanuatu, Thailand, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea.
Donors fill shoeboxes with gifts including something to love, something to use at school, something related to personal hygiene, something to wear and something to play with. A photograph or a card or note is really special to the child receiving the box.
I have recently returned from Fiji where I had the privilege of assisting with distributing shoeboxes. It was a pleasure to take these gifts of love and hope from New Zealand to villagers who have almost nothing and it was amazing to witnessfirst-hand how grateful these children are.The joy on their faces was indescribable, the excitement was electric. Parents often told me this was the only present their children had ever received.
After opening their box we would often ask the child what they had really wanted to find inside. 12-year-old Lutishasaid “They told us the boxes are packed with love and prayer. I was wondering how someone who hasn’t met me and doesn’t know my name could know and love me. Now I know, because in this box is a pair of shoes. That’s what I really need, I have no shoes to wear to school.”Another child, who was keen to learn music, received a recorder with instructions on how to play it.
For further information on Operation Christmas Child or to receive boxes to fill contact Nancy 0272 779 039 or email francoisj@samaritanspurse.org.nz

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