Gifts for good causes

Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes are being collected throughout Texarkana Nov. 12-19


Story by Caden Rainwater, staff writer

The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to reach out to children all over the world. Over the last 25 years, Operation Christmas Child has collected hundreds of millions of boxes and sent them out to over 150 countries.

“My favorite part of the whole process is tracking the boxes throughout their journey,” freshman Shelby Dunphy-Day said. “Getting to see unfortunate children receive toys because of me is very inspiring.”

Behind the whole process is a Christian humanitarian aid organization known as Samaritan’s Purse. For years, Samaritan’s Purse has provided spiritual and physical aid to refugees of poverty and persecution in more than 100 countries with the simple goal of spreading God’s word.

“My grandmother first started doing it, and now my family has joined in,” junior Peyton Dean said. “Supplying kids with things they need and simply want makes me feel like I’m changing the world.”

This year, the annual collection week for the boxes is Nov. 12-19.

“I feel like everyone needs to do this, so all of the kids who are less fortunate get to learn that people care about them,” Dunphy-Day said. “They need to be able to learn the gospel.”

The boxes open a window to the world of discipleship called “The Greatest Journey,” which is implemented through a global church network to help children learn how to know and follow Jesus.

“After three years of making these boxes, I have never failed to include a bible for the children,” Dunphy-Day said. “Even though they aren’t as fortunate as me, I get to give them the gift of God.”