Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

November 18, 2013

Shoebox Full of Spirit

TRAVERSE CITY — A few small items added to the holiday shopping list can help make a difference in the life of a child.

Operation Christmas Child has delivered simple shoeboxes filled with small gifts and toys to more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries since 1993. The nationwide project, operated through Samaritan’s Purse, a relief effort headed by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, is underway throughout northern Michigan, where church groups and individuals are encouraged to fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hand-knit hats or mittens, hygiene products and other small items by Nov. 25.

“We’re hoping to send in excess of 10,000 boxes from the 10-county area,” said Laura O’Connor, the project’s area coordinator. “We’re excited about the consistent help we’ve had from area congregations, and we’re also reaching out to individuals who maybe don’t have a church family, but want to help.”

O’Connor said the week of today through Nov. 25 is National Collection Week, when completed boxes will be loaded onto tractor-trailers stationed at Faith Reformed Church in Traverse City. From there they will go to a distribution center in Minneapolis where they are checked for liquids, chocolate or other soft candies and any war-related toys and games.

“Other than that they are left the way they were packed,” O’Connor said, adding that some families often include personal notes or contact information.

“When Operation Christmas Child started in 1993 the goal was to reach children affected by the war in Bosnia with some Christmas gifts,” O’Connor said. “That year 28,000 shoeboxes were successfully delivered by Christmas.”

O’Connor said the project has grown so large that it now operates on a year-round basis. More than 9 million shoeboxes were collected worldwide in 2012 with over 6 million collected in the United States alone.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl