Our View: Give the gift that makes a difference 85% scale
And since 1993, it is hope that has fueled the mission of Operation Christmas Child, the annual appeal that annually delivers basic necessities, small gifts and the message of salvation to millions of children worldwide.
The concept is simple: pack a "shoebox" with the organization's suggested items and deliver it to a processing center -- the center in Boone is expected to handle about 700,000 shoeboxes as National Collection Week draws down -- and the organization will see that needy children around the world receive the gift -- your gift, with your message of hope.
That hope can be delivered this way -- indeed, by any means necessary, including sleigh, donkey or four-wheel drive -- to the remote regions of our world is both incredible and vital. Incredible that so many people would make such an effort to pack, send and deliver these gifts, and vital because hope is in such short supply in so many areas of the earth, and especially so in those places where few people have heard the message of the Christmas story.
It is hope that drives our own holiday, and hope that fills us with anticipation as Christmas morning approaches. And it is through OCC that this hope is spread so directly across the earth.
National Collection Week ends on Monday, but that doesn't mean that you don't have time to send a bit of hope around the world. Shoebox gifts are accepted throughout the year, and for this current cycle in Boone they are accepted through Dec. 8. For more information, visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/.