TERRE HAUTE —
Ralph lives beside a garbage dump in a house made of trash in Imus Cavite, Philippines. He spends most of his days digging through debris to find items his family can sell. Despite his circumstances, Ralph and his friends try to stay optimistic.
Their smiles are much wider, however, after a recent surprise at school. Representatives with Operation Christmas Child brought them special gifts: shoe boxes filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and more.
While most American children would take these items for granted, in impoverished areas like Imus Cavite, school supplies and basic clothing make a huge difference.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to collect and deliver the 100 millionth shoe box gift — a milestone reached after 20 years of packing, collecting, transporting and hand-delivering these simple gifts to suffering children around the globe.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Booklets are also offered with the shoe box gifts, providing children with the opportunity to learn about God. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has hand-delivered more than 94 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in more than 130 countries. For many of these children, the simple shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.
How to help:
• Pack a shoe box. Fill shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, candy and a letter of encouragement. Step-by-step shoe box packing instructions are available at www.samaritans
purse.org/occ. Click on “How to Pack a Shoe Box.”
• Sign up to volunteer. Opportunities are available at www.samaritans
purse.org/occ. Click on “Volunteer” for more details and information.
• Spread the word. Help enlist families, churches, scout troops, community groups and businesses to take part in creating shoe box gifts.
Collection week for shoe box gifts is Nov. 12-19 in Terre Haute.
Drop off gifts at Family Worship Center, 2901 S. Seventh St. on:
• Nov. 12 at 9 a.m. to noon
• Nov 13 at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Nov 14 at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Nov 15 at 9 a.m. to noon
• Nov 16 at 9 a.m. to noon
• Nov 17 at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Nov 18 at 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Nov 19 at 9 a.m. to noon
For more information visit, www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.