Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas appeal, made possible through the support of thousands of children and adults in the UK. Last year over 1.2 million shoeboxes were sent to children in Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Operation Christmas Child takes the gift-filled shoebox - packed, wrapped and taken to one of local drop off points - and then hand delivers it to a child, asking nothing from them in return.
Shoeboxes are given to children in need, with no regard to their background or beliefs. The charity works with local partners on the ground to ensure that the gift-filled shoeboxes are delivered with respect to the local culture. Where culturally appropriate, our overseas partners will make available a booklet of Bible stories
Every year St. Mary's supports the Operation Christmas Child appeal by helping to arrange the collection of boxes from local schools and other organisations, which are then checked before taking to a Collecting Hub in Nottingham.
This Christmas 2016 we collected 228 boxes, which went to Swaziland and Ukraine. Plus we checked and sealed another 35 from Richard Bonington School and 50 from Woodborough Woods.
Collecting our shoe boxes for next Christmas starts in October/ November. Simply collect a leaflet from the back of church or ring me and I will get some to you. For further information please contact Andrea Sands Tel 0115 920 2023 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to reach their destinations, the shoe boxes need to be in church before the last week of November. Please help make a child’s dreams come true next Christmas.
For more information about the work of Samaritan's Purse, please go to their website
‘I was an orphan in the former Soviet Union when I received my shoebox. We had to share everything at the orphanage, including towels. When I got a washcloth in my box I thought it was my own personal towel! It was very special because it was my all just for me —something that I didn’t have before. Another item was a notebook. It was awesome, because when I was moved to a different orphanage I could use it to write letters to my sisters. God used the shoebox to plant a seed of hope in me. All I knew was that there was someone who had cared enough to send me the washcloth and notebook.
Through the next couple of years that was the hope that I held on to, that there must be someone out there who could care about me. My sister Tanya had heard about a God who loved her when she received her shoebox gift. So she was praying, “God, if you’re real, give me and my siblings a family.” One day I received a letter from her that said, “We might be getting adopted into an American family.” I again thought, there really has to be someone who cares for me. It could only be someone like a God. All these little things were pointing to this amazing, loving God and yet at this point I had little comprehension of who He was. I hadn’t heard about Jesus.
When I was 13, we were adopted. After I’d learned a little bit of English, my dad told me that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for our
sins and that it was a free gift. I immediately remembered my Operation Christmas Child gift and thought, Wow, that makes sense. Someone who didn’t know me gave me a gift, and in the same way before we ever knew God, He loved us enough to give us this gift. At that moment, I realised that the hope I was feeling had been given from God. God ordained that shoebox for me. It opened my heart to Jesus, who changed my life forever.
Page was last altered 31 October 2017