Sending holiday joy one shoe box at a time

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- A shoe box can make a world of difference in the life of a needy child when it is filled with gifts. Millions of children in our world live in conditions difficult for most of us to imagine. As victims of poverty, war, AIDS, famine and other catastrophes, many are orphans and many live on city streets and city dumps.

The 20th Fighter Wing Chapel young adult ministry is collecting gift-filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child beginning Nov. 15 through Nov. 22, to help make a difference in those children's lives.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational international Christian relief ministry which operates out of Boone, N.C.

These gifts send a message of hope to children in desperate situations around the world.

We seldom, if ever, have the opportunity to help these children through personal contact, but this time each year we are given the opportunity through OCC to impact many of them with a small box full of gifts.

People of all ages can participate in this project and express concern and love for needy children.

Many from the Shaw community have been participating in this project for 19 years, donating 200 to 400 shoe boxes each year.

Please consider helping us reach our goal of collecting 500 boxes this year.

To donate, decide if you want to fill a shoe box for a boy or girl, in an age category of 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14, and put this information on the box lid.

Items included in gift boxes should be new. Do not include items that may leak or easily break. If you choose to wrap the box, please wrap the lid separately, since contents will be inspected.

Suggested gifts:
  • Toys: stuffed animal, doll, ball, yo-yo, slinky, jump rope, harmonica, car, etc. No toy guns, knives, toy military personnel or war related toys.
  • School supplies: pens, pencils and sharpener, coloring pencils or crayons, coloring book, writing pad or paper, eraser, glue stick, tape, solar calculator.
  • Hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and holder in zip lock bag, washcloth, comb, hairbrush, band aids.
  • Other ideas: flashlight with extra batteries in zip lock bag, T-shirt, socks, Bible story and children's picture books, sealed hard candy in zip lock bag but no other food items.
Boxes can be delivered to the Palmetto Chapel the following dates:
Nov. 15, 1 to 5 p.m.
Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 18-22, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information about donating, contact the chapel at (803) 895-1106. For information about volunteering, contact Hugh Wilson at (803) 481-7972.