Meet the Sullivans: Giving the Gift of Good News

November 9, 2012

Giving the Gift of Good News

Almost everyday, even at 4am when I'm changing a diaper and wet clothes, I am reminded of how blessed we are. The blessings God has given us are endless, but the one that overwhelms me with thankfulness the most is the life we've been able to give Owen. He is healthy and happy. We have great health care for him. He has both his parents and a warm home. We live in a great community. We can raise him with an awareness of how much God loves him. The list goes on and on...

But there are children who do not have all these things, and this makes my heart ache. There are children who have no relationship with God and don't know he has a plan for them. And it is good.

Last year when I was still teaching my kindergarten class, with the help of one very generous and thoughtful mother, donated four shoe boxes full of fun toys and useful items to children in need. Operation Christmas Child is run by Samaritan's Purse. The organization aides those who do not have the necessities and luxuries we enjoy on a daily basis and also spreads the Good News.

I want to raise Owen with a spirit of thankfulness and giving, so we began a tradition I plan on continuing with him through his childhood. We (really me) picked out some things for a child his age, a boy. I was sure that young girls were usually the demographic that receives the most donations. But to be sure I wrote them an email. I was surprised to see the reply late that afternoon in my mailbox. I couldn't believe they responded to me so promptly. The email said as follows...

Dear Colleen,

Thank you for contacting Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child. Because of caring people like you, our distribution partners overseas have been able to hand out over 94 million shoe box gifts to children around the world since 1993. Our mission is to provide local Christians around the world with shoe box gifts as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Over the years, we have found that we receive more than 50 percent of shoe box gifts for children ages five to nine. The areas of greatest need are gift boxes designated for children in the other age categories of two to four and ten to fourteen.  In all age categories, we receive more boxes for girls than boys.

Thank you for taking the time to write.  It is our prayer that the Lord would continue to grow your love and passion for Operation Christmas Child. Because of people like you, children all over the world are having the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ, many for the first time. We are eternally grateful for your support, and mostly your prayers, as we partner together to touch the lives of children all over the world.

Sincerely,

Houston V. Sloan Jr.
Operation Christmas Child Representative – Operation Christmas Child

I know it's late notice, but if you have the time and have not thought of doing so already, think about putting together a box for a child and dropping it off at a collection location.

It can be as easy as making a quick run to Target to fill your box before dropping it off. It could all be done in less than an hour and could make all the difference in what Christmas is like for a child this year.
National Collection week is November 12-19. 

Here is what I picked out for our box: 

If you would like to participate and need some ideas just click here for more ideas


I still need to write a little note and include a photo in our box before dropping it off at the collection site. There is a way through the website to track your package, and I've heard that if you include and address you will sometimes get a reply from the child who receives your box.


I hope you'll consider Operation Christmas Child if you are thinking of giving back this holiday season.

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