Despite a global pandemic, area residents shared the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.
Generosity throughout Southwest Florida Area Team contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., the project collected more than 9.1 million such gifts in 2021. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2021, the ministry is now sending more than 10.5 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.
Through shoeboxes — packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items — Okeechobee-area volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 198 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories.
Across Southwest FL Area Team, shoebox packers shop for shoebox gift deals year round, and many serve at a deeper level. Information about ways area participants can get involved year round can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling 407-273-6112.
Although local drop‑off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 14 – 21, 2022, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online in just a few simple clicks at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.
These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.