Local Operation Christmas Child Area Team to Hold Project Leader Workshop

COMMODORE, Pa. – Operation Christmas Child’s West Central PA Area Team will hold a local project leader workshop as part of the ministry’s Project Leader Weekend in September.

(Photo: A princess-themed shoebox delights a girl in Mongolia, where yurts are a common form of housing. Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse)

On Friday, September 10, the global gift-filled shoebox ministry will hold its Project Leader Season Launch during a virtual event that’s set to begin at 7:00 p.m. EST.

The event will be the foundation for all the tips shared in local workshops. Hosted by Shoebox Recipient Izabella McMillon, it will explore how shoebox gifts take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Participants will hear about the ministry happening in the Pacific Islands, among unreached people groups, and how to Build a Shoebox Online allows the Gospel to be taken to closed areas.

Individuals will hear from a number of guest speakers about how OCC opens the door to share the Gospel. And, participants will get a first look at new resources available.

Then, on Saturday, September 11, participants attend a local workshop to build relationships, share ideas, and become better equipped to lead and grow the OCC project for their church or group.

Locally, the West Central PA Area Team will hold an in-person workshop at 1:00 p.m. at Purchase Line United Methodist Church located at 7107 PA-286, Commodore, Pa.

Participants must pre-register online at: https://rb.gy/4kykmi, which will automatically enroll them in the ministry’s virtual event.

For more information or questions, please contact Karla Sunderlin, West Central PA area coordinator, by e-mail at [email protected] or phone at 814-496-4456.

Shoebox gifts being delivered to Fiji. Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse.

Shoebox gifts being delivered to Fiji. Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse.

About Operation Christmas Child

In 2020, some 7,809,410 million gifts were packed nationwide for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child, with 415,403 built online.

It was a record year for Build a Shoebox Online. Because of partnership in communities across the United States, more people than ever chose to participate in this way.

Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2020, the ministry is now sending more than 9,113,853 million shoebox gifts to children around the world.

Locally, the West Central PA Area collected 13,835 shoebox gifts. The area encompasses the communities of Clearfield, Jefferson, and Indiana Counties.

Each gift-filled shoebox—packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 188 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 170 countries and territories.

Many children who receive shoebox gifts will also enroll in Operation Christmas Child’s 12-lesson discipleship program, The Greatest Journey.

This program teaches children about God’s amazing love and guides them through what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ.

Through the 12 engaging lessons of The Greatest Journey, children learn how to follow Christ and share Him with friends and family. Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse.

Through the 12 engaging lessons of The Greatest Journey, children learn how to follow Christ and share Him with friends and family. Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse.

Since 2009, more than 26.5 million children who have received a shoebox gift have participated in The Greatest Journey—a 12‑lesson discipleship program.

During National Collection Week (Nov. 15–22), the ministry will collect the gift-filled shoeboxes at nearly 5,000 dropoff locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Learn how to pack a shoebox, view gift suggestions, get your Follow Your Box label, and find the nearest dropoff location at samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Shoebox gifts are collected in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Nearly 575,000 volunteers worldwide — with more than 270,000 of those in the United States — are involved in collecting, shipping, and distributing shoebox gifts.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.


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