The Gift of Giving: Donation drive collects items for children in need

Dec 1, 2016

Maryville’s Calvary Chapel amassed shoeboxes full of gifts for struggling children in countries around the world for Operation Christmas Child.

The collection happened during this year’s National Collection week Nov. 14-21, offering the Maryville community a chance to donate child-appropriate toys, hygiene products and school supplies, as well as a friendly note to the child.

Samaritan’s Purse sponsors Operation Christmas Child and it includes a bible in the gift recipient’s language, as well as an activity book about Jesus. According to its website, Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.

Maryville Residents Andrea and JC Dirks oversaw Operation Christmas Child in Maryville this year. Andrea and JC have previous experience volunteering for the weeklong event and took it upon themselves to run this year’s operation after enjoying their past experiences.

“This year went smoothly,” JC Dirks said. “We implemented some new promotion ideas that turned out wonderfully, which allowed us to get Operation Christmas Child into schools and clubs.”

This year roused 730 boxes from Maryville community members.

“It is an excellent family tradition of helping others. We encourage all who are able to participate and spread the word,” said JC Dirks. “We want to thank everyone in the community who participated this year. Every box is a child, and every child is a soul reached for Jesus.”

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. The organization serves the church worldwide to promote the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

An article in Nodaway News has Andrea Dirks’ take on the impact of Operation Christmas Child.

“Over 11 million boxes are sent out worldwide each year,” Andrea said. “And many are into war-torn countries where children may not know about Jesus. The gifts we donate come with the message of Jesus and his love for them and that is huge.”

Other Samaritan’s Purse projects include International Crisis Response, The Great Journey, U.S. Disaster Relief, World Medical Mission, Children’s Heart Project and Operation Heal Our Patriots.

 

Published December 1, 2016 @TheMissourian

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