During the COVID-19 lockdowns, 9.1 million shoeboxes were sent out to children in need through Operation Christmas Child.
This comes as some organizations have shut their doors over COVID-19 fears and strains on businesses due to increased regulations aimed at mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus. Even amid increased government intervention on how charities should conduct themselves, Samaritan's Purse, the organization that runs Operation Christmas Child, found creative ways to continue to give to those in need, CBN News reports.
One of the countries where the boxes were divvied out was Benin in Africa. According to a post on Operation Christmas Child's Instagram page, "Last week in Benin, these children heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and received their very own gift-filled shoeboxes."
Operation Christmas Child is different from other aid organizations in that when they hand out the boxes, they also share the Gospel with everyone who receives one.
There are reportedly 270,000 volunteers in the U.S. and 570,000 volunteers worldwide who have come together to make Operation Christmas Child work. One such man is a 104-year-old West Virginian who packed 1,000 boxes, 333 of which were boxed during the last year alone.
Last year, collectively, 9.1 million shoeboxes were shipped all across the globe, going to millions of children across multiple continents. One of the volunteers told CBN News in a statement, "God used this year to strengthen His church and lay a strong foundation for future ministry. Although we were apart, we were more unified than ever."
Franklin Graham, the leader of Samaritan's Purse, told CBN News, "This has been a difficult year for many children around the world. More than ever, they need to be reminded that God loves them and He hasn't forgotten them. I thank God for the incredible team of volunteers who serve year-round to share the hope of the Gospel with children—one shoebox at a time."
Photo courtesy: Operation Christmas Child Facebook
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.