Members of First Baptist Church in Minden will be headed to Dallas next week to the Operation Christmas Child processing center to help distribute toys and needed items for children in need.
Bobby Taylor, OCC coordinator at FBC Minden, said while the shoeboxes at the church have already been shipped to the processing center, people can still donate or go online to fill a shoebox.
“We’re leaving for Dallas Dec. 9, and if anybody wants to donate, we can take some shoeboxes with us,” he said. “A lot of people will send soap and a washcloth, toys and things like that. It can’t be war toys, such as toy soldiers or anything like that. That stuff is prohibited in a lot of countries.”
While the gifts in the shoeboxes are important, he said, for him, it’s about more than giving material things to a child in need.
“The greatest thing about Samaritan’s Purse to me, and what makes me work at it like I do – and the other people at the church that work at it like I do – is every shoebox that a child around the world gets has the gospel of Jesus Christ is in that box in their language,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about is getting the message of Jesus Christ around the world.”
FBC Minden is a relay center, Taylor said, which means they accept donations, box them up and make sure they get to the correct processing center.
Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, an international ministry founded by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham. Churches across the area donate items year-round to the ministry, Taylor said.
Shoeboxes are labeled with an age and gender. Each box is filled with a toy and other gifts such as hygiene items and/or school supplies. Toys may be dolls, stuffed animals, soccer balls, cars, trucks, musical instruments, outfits or shoes. All items must fit properly in the box.
The box can be wrapped, but the lid and box should be wrapped separately.
A shoebox can be packed online at www.samaritanspurse.org and Samaritan’s Purse will ship it for a $25 fee.