Shoeboxes are special gifts

By Millie Diaz

Staff Writer

A shoebox and a few dollars wrapped in a prayer can make a world of difference to a child across the globe with Operation Christmas Child, through Samaritan’s Purse. During November 13-18, better known as National Collection Week, local Jackson County churches have become drop-off points for the shoeboxes, so there’s still time to fill one.

Tana New, a member of Baptist Temple, Edna, has been filling boxes since the start of the program in 1990, and 2017 is her first year to be the local Relay Center Coordinator. She lingered on the prayer aspect of the shoebox gift, and how it makes it a little more special than merely giving to children in need.

“Say a small prayer before you buy items to fill a shoebox, and then say a prayer again when you fill it. It’s a way of teaching your children that prayer connects people on another level,” she said. “Lots of people add a personal note and a photo, too.”

A standard-size shoebox will do, but New said she’s seen boot boxes before, filled to the brim. One chooses to gift a boy or girl from three age groups, 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Start with a “wow” toy: a dress, t-shirt, a deflated sports ball with a pump, or a stuffed animal. Then fill in the gaps of the shoebox with other fun and/or useful items and add $9 for shipping costs. A small Bible will be added to the box by Samaritan’s Purse.


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