For thirty years, Samaritan’s Purse has been collecting shoeboxes filled with gifts and delivering them to children in need around the world through Operation Christmas Child. LaSalle Parish alone sent out 2,000 shoeboxes last year.
Each box is an opportunity for a boy or girl to experience the love of God in a tangible way and hear the gospel. Many boys and girls who receive shoebox gifts also participate in the follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey.
“This teaches the children how to faithfully follow Christ and share Him with others,” states Frances McDonald, Relay Coordinator for LaSalle Parish. “Will you prayerfully consider being a part of this exciting ministry?”
To get started, collect a standard size box, plastic shoebox or a preprinted shoebox from Samaritan’s Purse (offered in multiples for orders). Jena First Baptist Church has a few of these boxes (go boxes) that will be available on a first come, first serve basis, by calling the church office at (318) 992-4184 to reserve boxes and be added to the list to be notified when the boxes are ready for pick up.
Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump or a small stuffed animal and pack the box full of other fun toys, hygiene items (no toothpaste) and school supplies. Pray for the child who will receive the gift and including a personal note and photo is an option.
Include $10 in an envelope taped to the outside of the top of the box to cover shipping costs or donations for shipping can be given online through “Follow Your Box” and discover the destination of the shoebox.
Jena FBC serves as the collection site during the week of November 13-20. Shoeboxes may be dropped off at the old fellowship hall (across the street from LaSalle Printing) Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 20, from 8 to 10 a.m.
Do not include candy, toothpaste, gum, used or damaged items, war-related items, seeds, food, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items or glass containers or aerosol cans. In 2022, Samaritan’s Purse collected more than 209 million shoeboxes that were delivered to children around the world in more than 170 countries and territories. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love. Since including and teaching The Greatest Journey to children, more than 17.4 million boys and girls have made a decision to follow Christ.
For more information, visit samaritanpurse. org/occ or call Jena First Baptist Church at (318) 992-4184 or (318) 623-4132 for local information. To book a speaker for a group, call and give the request at the office as well.