Michiana volunteers help children across the world

NILES, Mich. – A local effort is making a worldwide impact.

Over the next week, Michiana volunteers will fill shoeboxes and send them to children in need around the world. It’s part of Operation Christmas Child which is a project of Samaritan’s purse.

Each box is packed with school supplies, hygiene items, and fun toys. At the end of the week, the boxes will be loaded into a truck and sent to children in more than 100 countries.

There are 10 church in Michiana taking part in this project.

Students from Niles Adventist are just some of the volunteers. They say giving back to children in need is “the best feeling ever” because they get to create a happy memory for kids who are often in war-torn countries or suffer from poverty. Student volunteers add they’ve learned how important it is to appreciate what you have.

This year the Michiana area team hopes to collect 37,500 gifts.

“I think it lets them know that there are people out there who care and maybe when they get a little bit older, they can also join Operation Christmas Child themselves,” said eighth grader Aniya Emete.

“[It] makes me feel great because I know that they’re super happy about it,” said seventh grader Kalvin Koenigshof. “I’ve seen videos of them receiving the gifts and they’re just so thrilled to get them.”

Organizers encourage people to create their own shoeboxes and drop them off over the next week. They say creating a box is easy and changes the life of the child who receives it.

The first step is to find a shoebox. Once one is found, organizers say fill thatb ox with fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies, anything that would make a child’s day and improve their life. Organizers ask people to pray for the child and include a $9 donation to cover shipping costs. Once that is done, people can take boxes to one of 10 drop-off locations in Michiana.

“A lot of people don’t get to have Christmas and so if they help, we could get a lot more boxes out and even more people could have presents,” said Koenigshof.

To find a location near you click here.

To find out more about Operation Christmas Child click here.  

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