Dawn Rye | Writer
Shoebox gifts go to the ends of the earth to children in some of the hardest or remote places.
When a church or community builds a Christmas shoebox, it provides believers in those remote regions a creative way to share the holiday spirit for young boys and girls.
Recently, the Chancellor Reformed Church put together 150 Christmas shoeboxes to go worldwide, specifically to third-world countries. With the help of Samaritan’s Purse, these children are receiving Christmas gifts for the first time in their lives.
Pastor Marc de Waard said items range from dolls, soccer balls, jump rope, Hot Wheels cars, beads, card games and stickers. Personal care items, toothbrushes, soap, hairbrush, school items such as pencils, books, markers. Clothing and accessories including underwear, shoes, jewelry and sunglasses.
He explained that it was not just the youth group that collected the items for the shoebox. It is an intergenerational church event. On Sunday, Nov. 7, they canceled all aged Sunday School classes and after our morning worship, the whole church gathered for coffee and juice and cookies, and then all ages went around all the tables, collecting items and filling boxes. The junior high youth received a lesson about the importance of the “Operation Christmas shoeboxes and enjoyed placing items in a box to donate for boys and girls.
Four years ago, the “mission project began for the Sunday School children to participate in the all-church multi-generational event. The church filled 99 boxes first, 121 in 2020 and 150 in 2021. Once the 150 boxes were filled, they were delivered to the First Evangelical Free Church in Sioux Falls. Each box needed $9.00 for postage and $1,350 to cover the cost of items in the shoebox for shipping from the church members and local donations from Beef Booth at the Turner County Fair.