It’s nearly that time of year again when a simple act of kindness and love, fuelled by prayer, can touch a heart and become the start of a very special journey – the amazing journey of a simple shoebox gift
Shoebox Sunday – 21 November 2021
The 21st November will also be the final day for handing in your completed shoebox.
At the morning service on the 21st, we will have on display in church all the shoeboxes we have received from local folks and our congregation.
If you can and wish to complete a shoebox, we look forward to including your gift in our display knowing that a small shoebox can have a big impact. If you wish to arrange handing in shoeboxes you have collected, please contact ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and we will get back to you to arrange.
Growing up in Romania when resources were scarce, Nicoleta and her sister shared everything, until one day when they both received shoebox gifts. Nicoleta was delighted to find a beautiful doll inside her box and turned to show her sister – to her amazement her sister had received a box packed by the same person and was holding a matching baby boy doll!
Packing – supporters pack shoebox gifts each year to bring joy, love and hope to children in need around the world. Year-round, volunteers around the UK support these efforts. Every year, at processing centres around the UK, teams of trained seasonal volunteers check the contents of each shoebox before it is sent to a child in need. They aim to keep each shoebox exactly as you packed it, while checking each item against a number of important criteria, such as:
- to make sure customs requirements of the countries we are sending to are complied with
- to make sure the cultural and religious contexts of the communities we are sending to are respected
- and to ensure that the items packed are in a clean and safe condition for the child who will receive them.
Occasionally, it might be necessary to remove an item that doesn’t match one of these criteria and these items are listed in the Samaritan’s Purse leaflet. Where possible, any items that need to be removed are donated to other charities.
Collecting and Shipping – churches, schools and groups collect these boxes between 1-18 November then thousands of volunteers check and prepare the shoeboxes for international shipping. A donation of £5 is essential to cover project costs, including shipping, to enable a local church or group overseas to lead a safe, well-organised children’s event where your shoebox will be given to a child in need. You can enclose cash or cheque (to Samaritan’s Purse) and place it in an envelope inside your shoebox on top of the contents. If you are packing more than one shoebox you can write a cheque for one combined donation.
Worldwide Distribution – long before shoeboxes arrive in more than 100 countries, volunteer National Leadership Teams train church and community leaders who want to reach out generously to children with the joy of a simple gift and share the Christmas story of Jesus.
Outreach Events – ministry partners around the world hand out shoebox gifts in the local community at festive outreach events.
We can all do a little to help with this process by packing a shoebox with simple gifts for a child in need. The instruction leaflets you need to start preparing your shoebox are now available in the church vestibule. Please take one if you have not already done so. All gifts, which need not be expensive, must be new and age-appropriate and there is a list of suggestions in the instruction leaflet. Fill your shoebox with a selection of fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies. Do also include one or two special items you know a child will love such as a doll or a cuddly toy.
To get started, just follow these five easy steps…
Step 1 – Find a shoebox.
Step 2 – Fill with gifts.
Step 3 – Make your project donation – cash, cheque or online at http://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/follow-your-box-donation/
Step 4 – Pray for the child who will receive your gift.
Step 5 – Bring your completed shoebox gift to church as soon as possible.
Thank you for joining us in the fun of wrapping, packing and sending gift-filled shoeboxes to children in need through Operation Christmas Child.
If you have any questions, please contact the Church Office (0131 220 1690 or email@example.com)