Craig’s Operation Christmas Child drop-off gathers 455 boxes for children in need around the world
The Craig location of Operation Christmas Child at Craig Christian Church received 455 boxes at the drop-off location as part of the collection process, according to Chuck and Julie Grobe, who help run Operation Christmas Child locally.
In years past, Operation Christmas Child collected roughly 500 shoe boxes in Craig, but despite coming up slightly short on that number in a difficult, trying 2020, the Grobes are thankful of the Craig community.
“We’re just so appreciative of the community for coming out and supporting us again this year,” Julie said.
The 2020 collection window for Operation Christmas Child ended Sunday, with all collections delivered to Grand Junction, starting the boxes on their journey around the world to more than 100 countries.
Inside the boxes, Operation Christmas Child asked for a “wow” gift, such as a soccer ball, a stuffed animal, or a doll. Then, included are school supplies, hygiene items and toys. Those packing the shoe box are encouraged to include a personal note and photo.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to provide God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, according to the official website.
The Grobes first started packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child in 1995, two short years after the program got off the ground, thanks to a creation of the program by Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham, who asked the late Pastor Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte to see if he could help fill shoe boxes with gifts for children in war-torn Bosnia.
Every year since, Samaritan’s Purse has collected shoe box gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children around the world. Since 1993, more than 178 million children in more than 150 countries have received an Operation Christmas Child shoe box, according to the website.
After packing shoe boxes for a few years, the Grobes got involved as a drop-off location, hosting a collection site in Craig for more than 20 years.
“What drives me to continue doing this all these years is the fact that this is an opportunity to show God’s love to children around the world,” Julie said.
For those that may have missed the week-long drop-off at Craig Christian Church, boxes can be packed online through samaritanspurse.org.
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