Operation Christmas Child: nearly 10 million children worldwide
Samaritan’s Purse is pleased to report that, of almost 10 million gift-filled shoeboxes shipped to needy children around the world through Operation Christmas Child, well over 900,000 shoeboxes were donated by individuals, groups, churches, schools and workplaces in the UK, reports Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service.
Samaritan’s Purse wants to express its gratitude to the hundreds of thousands of people, children and adults alike, who donated shoeboxes. Samaritan’s Purse also wants to recognise and affirm the contribution made by many thousands of volunteers, and supporting organisations, up and down the country, who made this amazing achievement possible.
“We’re so thankful for the amazing generosity of people in the UK. We can only imagine the joy a child feels when they receive a shoebox, packed with gifts, from someone they don’t know but someone who cared enough for them to know that God loves them and He’s not forgotten them at Christmas” explains Samaritan’s Purse UK Executive Director, Simon Barrington.
He added: “Nearly ten million children who received a shoebox through Operation Christmas Child will also have heard the good news of Jesus Christ when they received their shoeboxes.”
This year, for the first time, gift-filled shoeboxes were sent from donors in the UK to children in Rwanda.
In April 2014, Rwanda will mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide that saw almost one million people killed in 100 days.
Simon explains: “This complements the ongoing programmes that we have in Rwanda to lift vulnerable children and families out of poverty.”
He concluded: “Over the past 23 years, Operation Christmas Child has sent more than 113 million boxes to children in over 130 countries. The demand is huge and is increasing, year to year. I want to encourage more people in the UK to get involved with this amazing programme, so that we can reach even more children with shoeboxes packed with gifts and share Jesus with them; He is the reason for the season.”