At the November Rising Phoenix Jaycees Board of Director’s meeting, Past Chapter President Nathan Martin proposed a challenge to the board members to participate in Operation Christmas Child. It has always been his goal to incorporate this program into a chapter project.
Operation Christmas Child is organized through Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to people hurting around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the 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 challenge was simple. First, find a shoebox. Next, decide whether the box is for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Third, fill the shoebox with gifts, such as toys, school supplies, hygiene items, accessories, and/or crafts. Next, pray for the child who will receive the gift. Finally, drop-off the shoeboxes at a local collection place during the National Collection Week (November 16-23).
The Board was able to donate 8 shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, books, clothes, and more toys. According to current Chapter President Karen Nakagawa, “This is so heart-felt, makes me feel like I have my very own child!” Chapter Secretary Erica Lee also said, “This is a great idea and I’m glad that we as a Board decided to do this. I would like to repeat this again with our members for Christmas next year!”
A tracking label was also affixed to each shoebox, so the board could track and see which country(ies) the shoeboxes were sent. Our boxes were given to children in Namibia, South Africa and the Philippines.
This selfless act of generosity during the holiday made a joyous impact to children across the world. We look forward to extending this project to the chapter’s membership in 2016.
For more information about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child, please visit their website at http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/