By Liz Hansen
God gave us amazing imaginations, not just for our own expression but to help others, too! In fact, check out our Bottom Line for October, Week 4: “Use your imagination to do more good.”
We think Operation Christmas Child (a program of Samaritan’s Purse) is one of the most creative organizations out there when it comes to doing this.
Each year, they facilitate the packing and delivery of millions of shoebox gifts to children in crisis areas and third-world countries around the globe. Most of these kids have never before received a Christmas present. And not only do they get a cool shoebox filled with fun gifts, but they hear the gospel, too! In fact, through The Greatest Journey, OCC’s discipleship program, more than a million kids have come to believe in Jesus over the past four years.
This year, we’re mixing up OCC’s red and green with Orange! We invite your church to partner with Orange and OCC to send boxes to children in crisis areas around the world. And at the same time, we’ll provide you with resources to strengthen the families in your ministry.
Here’s where to start:
- Download the XP3 series: All In. You’ll find a spiffy tab (see below) with all the materials that you need to get started, including a Leader Kit, a special Parent CUE, box packing instructions, promotional videos, social media tools and more.
- Launch your box packing campaign no later than October 19. You’ll find special language and cues in the Groups Curriculum, as well as FX, to help you promote OCC to your families. Create a goal for the number of boxes you’d like to pack—and make sure each family gets a copy of the Parent CUE, which focuses on gratitude and thanking God by giving to others.
- Collect boxes. OCC’s official collection week is November 17-24, 2014, so encourage families to start bringing in shoeboxes immediately, and by no later than November 16. Then check the website listed in the Leader Kit for details on where to take the boxes once you’ve received them all. (Don’t worry, there are more than 3,500 collection sites across the country!)
- Celebrate! Share with the families in your ministry how many boxes you were able to send. We’ve provided tools to help you locate where your boxes will likely be sent so that you can pray specifically for the children in that region.