The international children’s relief organization known as Operation Christmas Child is hosting several events across communities in Southwest Louisiana as part of their Countdown to Collection Week.


 

While the official Operation Christmas Child Collection week is not until November 13-20, items are gathered year round leading up to collection time.

These events are meant to reach out to communities and show them what Operation Christmas Child is all about.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Their objective is to provide children in need around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.

These gifts are shipped to children around the world who have been affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease.

Southwest Louisiana is expected to donate 30,000 boxes for needy children this year.

First Baptist Church in DeRidder will host a special guest speaker to talk about the program. Luis Wells-Gonzalez was personally helped by Operation Christmas Child when he was young, and he will share his testimony with First Baptist Church on Sunday September 17th at 10:30 a.m.

As a child in Panama, Luis was raised by his single mother in a small house with a dirt floor. Despite Luis’ desire for education, he could not afford the school supplies he needed. Luis attended a local church where boxes from Operation Christmas Child were being handed out. In what was the first gift he had ever received, Luis was given school supplies along with various toys and candies. Due to the generosity of others, Luis was able to go to school.

Operation Christmas Child was first established in the United Kingdom in 1990 by Dave and Jill Cooke. Three years later, they partnered with Samaritan’s Purse. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 146 million children in more than 100 countries worldwide. 

For more information on Operation Christmas Child log on to www.samaritanspurse.org