What may seem like just a shoebox could make a world of difference for children this Christmas. It was a group effort, but it couldn’t be done without the love and support of the large Christian community.
Walnut Creek Church in Windsor Heights took part in a tradition spanning over twenty years this fall season. It all began with a box. Along with other churches In the area, the Windsor Heights chapter of Walnut Creek banded together to make a difference in the lives of children by participating in Operation Christmas Child.
Operation Christmas Child is an organization based out of Samaritan’s Purse. The mission of the program is to join forces with churches worldwide to make a shoebox into something much more. Church members and volunteers fill the boxes with gifts and deliver them to children in need, particularly those living in war-torn and impoverished countries.
Packed boxes, carefully packaged with stuffed animals, dolls, dinosaurs and trinkets will be making their way across the world this year. Presents for children in Tanzania, Uganda, India, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago. The gifts were special not just because they are toys, but because of the message behind them. Months of hard work climaxed at the East Village Promenade, the annual holiday shopping season kick-off event for the Des Moines neighborhood. It was no easy talk putting together the shipment, however.
Showing less fortunate families across the globe the joy of Christ and the Christmas spirit required much more than packing paper and industrial tape. Walnut Creek of Windsor Heights has hosted a community fundraiser for the donation for several years, a fun opportunity to get the community involved in giving called the Fundraiser Vendor Fair. The fair was held in November on church grounds and featured many different local businesses and vendor carts. Attendees even had the chance to pack their own shoebox for a child.
So what can a small shoebox mean for a child across the globe? Samaritan’s Purse stresses that while what goes into the box may be fun, what comes out is eternal. The box represents the love of God and works to plant a seed that will keep on giving and growing in the love and Spirit of Christ. With a combined 250 shoeboxes shipped off, Walnut Creek Church can rest assured that those seeds will soon give way to sprouts.
Walnut Creek Church Windsor Heights
900 64th St.
Sunday services: 9, 9:30 and 11 a.m.