Operation Christmas Child sends gifts to kids overseas

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 8:42 PM CST|Updated: 16 hours ago
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - There are children all over the world who might not get presents this year, and Samaritan’s Purse is working to change that. Through its philanthropy Operation Christmas Child, they have been sending shoe boxes overseas for 27 years, and they said it gives children hope.

“Last Sunday we were doing Operation Christmas Child and one gal came up to me and says, “Oh I want to do this, because when I was nine years old and lived in Africa, I received a shoe box and it mean’t the world to me,” Kaylene Hoeser, Operation Christmas Child Area Coordinator, said.

Churches, businesses and other organizations across Central Nebraska have been filling shoe boxes since Nov. 6. People got to decide whether they wanted to shop for a boy or a girl and what age group. Normally, the boxes come with toys, blankets, and even necessities.

“The children are actually excited to get even a bar of soap. I’ve heard a few of them say,” Hoeser said. “This way they don’t have to share with their siblings a toothbrush. They have their own toothbrush.”

The Free Church in Grand Island contributed 200 boxes this year.

“This is our 12th year of doing Operation Christmas shoe boxes, me and my wife Rhonda,” said Ron Bigger a volunteer from the church. “What a blessing it is to just bring some joy to a child through a gift of a shoe box.”

People brought the boxes to 14 drop off locations where it gets packaged, and sent to central locations in Hastings and Kearney. From there, it gets sent to Denver where it is processed and shipped oversees.

“At this moment we don’t know where the boxes are going to go,” Hoeser said. “Last year they went to the Philippines.”

Last year, Samaritan’s Purse did 8,500 shoe boxes. The last day people can to drop them off is Monday, Nov. 23.

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