Samaritan’s Purse sponsors Operation Christmas Child and the local effort was in full effect throughout the month of November at Riverbank High School with Nena Sandoval, Foods and Nutrition/Culinary Arts ROP, FHA-HERO Advisor and the FHA-HERO members participating in to help families all over the globe.
According to the website, www.sarmitanpurse.org, their mission statement is: Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
“As of 2013 Operation Christmas Child has collected over 113 million shoeboxes that have been distributed to 157 countries,” stated Sandoval. “This year the shoeboxes will be delivered and distributed to Peru, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines.”
Operation Christmas Child starts with a shoebox for either a boy or a girl that is filled with items including toys, school supplies, non-liquid hygiene items, accessories, and, if the giver desires, a personal note with a photo of yourself or your family. Some families include their address so the child that receives the shoebox can write back. There are three different age groups, from age 2 up to age 14.
The FHA students transferred several shoeboxes to the relay center in Escalon at the Covenant Church in late November to close out their local collection effort.
The students spent the final day of the program securing shoeboxes and labels as well as placing them in the cardboard boxes for shipping, keeping count of the boxes and loading them onto a trailer for shipping. The truck and trailer that was loaded with the shoeboxes was delivered to a larger collection point in Manteca where they were placed on a truck that delivered the shoeboxes to the Los Angeles distribution center.
“My students were so touched by the stories of two children in particular whose lives were saved and transformed by receiving a simple shoebox as a child,” expressed Sandoval, “that they want to raise money and go to the Los Angeles Operation Christmas Child distribution center next year and volunteer. It was very exciting to see the kids work so hard and diligently but also understand the importance and meaning of their volunteer work.”