This holiday season, island residents are working to brighten the lives of millions of children in need around the world. Right now, Maui volunteers with Operation Christmas Child--the world's largest Christmas project of its kind--are filling shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for children around the world.
From Monday to Monday, Nov. 12 to 19, National Collection Week, two Maui collection sites will be bustling like Santa's workshop as hundreds of shoeboxes packed full of goodies are dropped off by island individuals, families, community groups, churches and businesses.
During this year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse headed by Franklin Graham, everyone is welcome to drop off a shoebox packed full of joy. Then, using trucks, trains, boats, bikes--even elephants--the shoebox gifts will be hand-delivered in countries around the world.
This year, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone--collecting and delivering shoeboxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. During that time, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 94 million shoebox gifts and hand-delivered them to children in more than 130 countries.
This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another nine million gift-filled shoeboxes. Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many children, the shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received.
The program is also taking collection at Lahaina Baptist Church. For more drop-site details or to follow your shoebox to its destination country, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Fill a box with love and hope for those less fortunate and experience some real holiday joy this season.