Operation Christmas Child is a Samaritan’s Purse sponsored project which aims to share the love of Jesus Christ to children through the gift of a shoebox. Shoebox gifts are filled with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items and delivered to children in need around the world. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. Since its start in 1993, 188 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. This year, OCC hopes to distribute shoebox gifts to 9.7 million children!
Unclaimed Baggage has worked as a Drop-Off Center for Operation Christmas Child in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse for more than 20 years. Each year, we proudly set up an Operation Christmas Child display for each guest to see as they enter the front door. “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14, ESV. We are delighted to partner with the mission of Operation Christmas Child to share the gospel with children all around the world in such a tangible way.
Meet Alana Griffith
We chatted with Unclaimed Baggage team member, Alana Griffith, who has volunteered with Operation Christmas Child for many years. Here’s what she has to say about this project:
How long have you been a volunteer for OCC?
I have volunteered with OCC for over 15 years and in 2018 I became a Year-Round Church Relations Volunteer for Jackson County.
What made you want to get involved?
I first became involved as a helper. I grew to love the mission and how it is invaluable to the lives of children across the world. After years of volunteering for Unclaimed Baggage, the opportunity presented itself to become a year-round volunteer.
Why are you passionate about OCC?
The Operation Christmas Child Mission is truly a tangible way to reach the hearts of children to know and love Christ. It is a really simple way to become a part of the Great Commission, and I love that!
Why would you encourage others to build a shoebox or get involved?
Not only do the shoebox gifts bless the children, but it blesses my soul. The pure joy of the recipients makes my heart smile! I encourage others to build because it is a gift that can touch eternity and a way to change a child’s life in the best possible way.
How You Can Help
Anyone can participate and donate any number of gift-filled shoeboxes. Every single one makes a difference! A single shoebox can impact not only the child recipient, but their entire family. Any shoebox will do, but you can pick up pre-printed boxes here at Unclaimed Baggage.
Be sure to return the full shoeboxes during National Collection Week, the 3rd week in November each year. This year’s dates are November 15th-22nd.
To set up a pickup or drop-off please contact Alana Griffith or David Maples at 256-259-1525.