Last November our church members sponsored 100 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for boys ages 10 -14. OCC receives the least number of boxes for this particular group so we choose to focus solely on packing quality boxes that included school supplies, comb, soap, socks, small toys, and either a soccer ball and pump or a small tool kit. The Mike Noel Homegroup hosted a packing party and all 100 boxes were registered to be tracked as to their final destination. So where did they go?
According to the shoe box tracking site, SGC’s boys' boxes went to Togo, Ghana, Uganda, a “Hard to Reach Area” and the remainder are waiting in Charlotte for a “special event distribution”. OCC defines a “hard to reach area” as one of 21 nations that are difficult to reach with the Gospel. Many of these boxes designated for hard to reach areas are specially packed shoeboxes that were built online. In restricted areas, these shoeboxes provide a platform for local believers to share Christ in a safe and culturally sensitive way and allow ease of entry through customs. That our boxes were chosen to be sent to a restricted area means we packed quality boxes that met the standard.
Only 1% of the 11.4 million boxes received per year are designated for special event distributions. Currently, some of our shoe box gifts are in the Charlotte processing center awaiting shipment to as yet unknown destination. These shoeboxes began shipping in early February on the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft and will continue until July.
To fully comprehend the impact a shoebox gift can have on a 12-year-old boy from Ghana, watch Kojo’s story.