Samaritan’s Purse airlifted 60,000 Operation Child Christmas Child shoeboxes to northern Iraq Wednesday (Dec. 10). The boxes filled with clothing, hygiene items, school supplies and small toys will be delivered to child living in refugee camps since ISIS took over parts of Iraq.
Operation Christmas Child Domestic Director Randy Ribble said, "Many of these children have never received a gift in their lives and that was when they were living in their normal circumstances [before the ISIS takeover]. Now, they have been removed from everything that they know: their homes and their families. They are living in the refugee camp and these gifts will provide a moment of hope. Of course, they will be delivered in the name of Jesus."
People in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Holland and Finland packed the boxes to be sent to children in third-world countries. Ten million shoeboxes were packed total this year to be distributed around the world.
Riddle said that the refugee children in Iraq particularly need the gifts because most left their homes with few or no belongings. Winter clothes are in need as the days are getting colder.
"Most of them are living in tents without floors,” Riddle said. “Samaritan's purse has provided a large number of heaters and winter coats. They are doing the best that they can in a tent community, a tent city. These shoeboxes will just be additional forms of encouragement. These conditions are difficult. We are unable to change their permanent condition but we are able to provide a moment of hope and a reminder that these children are loved."
Publication date: December 11, 2014