~Shared by T. Compton

Wading chest-deep through a river in Ecuador, a little girl in pigtails holds a shoebox high above her head. Happiness crinkles the corners of her eyes.

Behind her, a young boy smilingly holds his red and green shoebox out of the water, careful not to get its contents wet. Inside are toys, school supplies, a toothbrush, a bar of soap, and other hygiene items.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, delivers love and hope in the form of shoeboxes to children around the world, kids haunted by poverty, hunger, disease, war and more.

Operation Christmas Child

“The whole purpose is sending a filled shoebox to children ages two through 14 around the world. This gift doesn’t just give them the joy of receiving the box, but the love of Christ comes with it,” said Marianne Korman, Dropoff Center Relay Coordinator for New Covenant Fellowship Church in Hawley, PA .

“The goal for our church in Hawley is 500 boxes, but I would like to reach that 1,000 box marker when all of the (contributing) churches are in,” Korman said.

Korman reached out to Woodloch Pines Resort in Lackawaxen Township, knowing that the Poconos Resort has a heart for children and supporting the community.

Each shoebox is filled with donations such as:

* Hygiene items: toothbrushes, toothpaste with expiration date visible, mild bars of soap, combs, washcloths.

* School supplies: pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, or loose leaf paper.

* Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

**To help cover the shipping and other costs related to delivering your gift box to a child overseas, please donate $7.00 for each shoebox you prepare.**

Please note: You may also enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family (if you include your name and address the child may write back).

Katherine Harrison, a friendly volunteer who assists Korman at the collection site, calls herself “a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord.”

Harrison encourages participants to pray over each box. “If you pray over it, that box goes to the child who needs what’s in that shoe box at the time,” she said, words strong with belief. She went on to share the story of a little boy whose family had suffered a fire in their village. His feet had been burned and he sorely needed something to cover them. When he opened his box, it was filled with socks. Seeing what was in the box, the Samaritan’s Purse volunteer offered to exhange it for one filled with toys and other items, but the child said, no, this box – with its gloves and socks – was exactly what his family needed.

There’s no such thing as coincidence; I belive it’s God working behind the scenes.

Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse and son of popular evangelist Billy Graham, said, “Multitudes of children around the world are rejoicing with Operation Christmas Child as we celebrate over 100 million shoe box gifts since 1993. These gifts have enabled us to share the Gospel in some of the darkest corners of the world, reaching more than 150 countries and territories,” said Franklin Graham.

Filled shoeboxes, donations of items to be placed in the boxes, or monetary donations are being accepted by Sarina Betz at Woodloch Pines Resort (ext. 8041) or Tammy Compton in the Reservations Department at Woodloch Pines Resort.

Donations must be received at Woodloch by Monday, November 18.