Samaritan’s Purse is calling on all churches, schools, workplaces, families and individuals in Suffolk to help achieve a remarkable milestone, that of delivering their 100 millionth gift-filled shoebox during this year’s Operation Christmas Child (OCC) campaign.
Over the past 22 years, through OCC, Samaritan’s Purse has delivered 94 million shoeboxes to needy children in over 100 countries.
To lift this total to 100 million and beyond, the charity is asking everyone in their communities to use creative ways to reach this target in time for November 18th, the final date for donors to hand in their gift-filled shoeboxes.
Suffolk regional manager for Operation Christmas Child, Gordon McCann said: “We are one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects, distributing over one million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children at Christmas time last year.
“The challenge for us now is to grow Suffolk’s contribution to this global programme, so we’re asking everyone across the region to help us achieve that.
“We are already finding throughout Suffolk many individuals and groups are creatively going the extra mile in a number of ways including hosting coffee mornings, special concerts and shoebox parties.
“It’s a great way to get people together and pack their shoeboxes and it’s really helping us towards our 100 million challenge.”
Samaritan’s Purse has also come up with another creative idea by asking everyone to email photographs of them holding up the shoeboxes they’ve packed, which will form one giant mosaic on the charity’s Facebook page of a child overseas holding their shoebox.
Gordon McCann said: “We hope this will help people visualise the impact of what each person’s shoebox can achieve in the life of a child.
“It’s not about the 100 million number that’s so significant, but that each individual child will know that someone in the UK cares about them this Christmas.”
Find out how you can be part of the 100 Million Shoebox Challenge by visiting www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk for instructions on how to complete a gift-filled shoebox in time for the November 18 deadline.
To be part of the Shoebox mosaic:
1) Email a photo of yourself holding up your shoebox (or a photo of your whole family/group!) to firstname.lastname@example.org – (please use the word ‘Mosaic’ as the subject of your email)
2) Samaritan’s will then add your picture to the photo wall of its Facebook page, and into the giant mosaic being constructed at www.zumyn.com
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 8) Echo.