NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–LifeWay Christian Stores has announced plans to assist Operation Christmas Child, the annual project of Samaritan’s Purse to provide needy children worldwide with gift-filled shoeboxes.
All LifeWay Christian Stores locations, excluding the seminary stores and conference centers, will host an Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection party Saturday, Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
LifeWay Christian Stores is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian relief and evangelism organization led by Franklin Graham.
LifeWay and Samaritan’s Purse invite participants to drop off a shoebox filled with new toys, books, school supplies, hard candy, hygiene items and other small necessities for the global outreach.
“By utilizing our retail locations as a special drop-off point, it allows communities to easily be involved while allowing LifeWay Christian Stores to fulfill a portion of our ministry focus,” said John McKinney, LifeWay Christian Stores’ manager of local store marketing. “It is our prayer that these children will be surprised by the Christmas toys, but more than anything, we hope their lives are impacted by the Gospel message that will be shared through this opportunity.”
The unique partnership with Samaritan’s Purse creates an avenue for international ministry, an important component of LifeWay Christian Stores.
“Samaritan’s Purse is known and respected in evangelical circles for its vast international philanthropic endeavors,” McKinney said. “This organization strives to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of poverty-stricken societies. We [at LifeWay] believe it is important to partner with evangelical Christian organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse, so that the Gospel of Christ is promoted in a more expedient way throughout the globe.”
Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest children’s Christmas outreach, has distributed more than 24 million shoebox gifts for underprivileged children in 118 countries since its inception in 1993.
In 2002, Operation Christmas Child collected 6,199,783 shoebox gifts worldwide — 3,606,205 in the United States. Shoeboxes are collected in the United States from families, churches and organizations. Drop-off centers are provided in each of the 50 states.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: GLOBAL GIFTS.