Since 1990, over 100 million children and young people, worldwide, have been able to receive a Christmas gift that they would not have received because they live in extreme poverty or because they are orphaned or their parents are just too poor to buy them a Christmas present. A fantastic achievement from the simple idea of a friend of mine, Dave Cooke, a carpenter from Wrexham who was so deeply moved by the plight and images of children in the orphanages in Romania on TV in 1990 that he decided he had to do something about it. Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is now the largest children’s charity in the world.
Sending shoeboxes is a very practical way of showing God's love to others and it's amazing how much a simple gift can do for those who send them as well as those who receive them. I know how much pleasure so many people get from buying small gifts, knitting scarves and hats etc., and putting a shoebox together. Might I please ask if you and your family and/or your place of work, club, organisation or business could collect the following items for our shoebox appeal?
Shoeboxes: Please wrap in colourful wrapping paper if you can (but don't worry if you can't).
Toiletries: Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Soap, Flannels, Combs, Brushes.
Sweets: Such as Haribo, Starburst, Boiled Sweets but NOT chocolate!
Small Toys: Tennis Balls, Dominoes, Teddies!
Educational Equipment: Pens, Paper, Pencils, Colouring Books, Rubbers, Sharpeners.
Woollens: Hats, Scarves, Gloves.
Photographs: Or a Letter or a Card from the person/group who fill the shoebox.
Donations: Each shoebox costs £3 to deliver.
Please do not include: Used or damaged items; War related toys such as guns, play soldiers or knives; Liquids or lotions of any type including bubbles and medicines. Anything of a political, racial or religious nature; Sharp objects; glass containers, mirrors or fragile items; Playing cards of the 4-suit variety or chocolate!
Your contribution, however small, is greatly appreciated. We can arrange to pick these up or you can bring your collected items along to Emmanuel on Friday 15 November 2019 from 7.30 pm or Saturday 16 November 2019 from 10.00 am (and stay with us) for our 'Shoebox Filling Extravaganza.' May I also give you an invitation to our special 'Shoebox Celebration Service' on Sunday 17 November 2019 at 10.00 am (completed shoeboxes can also be brought along on these two days). Leaflets are available at Emmanuel and you can find out more about OCC on their website here www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk
I have been fortunate to help lead shoebox distribution teams to Belarus, Crimea and the Ukraine and I have seen, at first hand, the joy a simple shoebox ‘filled with love’ can bring. I’d be happy to come and speak with you about my experiences, tell some stories and show some slides!
Revd Paul A. Carr