Operation Christmas Child: Small Shoebox Makes a Big Difference

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. – Various volunteer roles are available with Samaritan’s Purse through Operation Christmas Child in the West Central Pennsylvania region.

Currently, the West Central PA Area is actively seeking volunteers who are interested in serving on its church, student and community relations teams in Jefferson and Indiana counties.

Church relations volunteers build and cultivate relationships with local Christian churches, work to mobilize and equip them to share the hope of Jesus Christ and help fulfill the Great Commission through Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child.

Student relations volunteers serve as an advocate for Operation Christmas Child in schools, universities and student organizations, so that young people become engaged in the ministry and have the opportunity to impact lives worldwide.

Community relations volunteers are ambassadors within their local communities, and they engage and equip groups, businesses and civic organizations to become actively involved with Operation Christmas Child.

“By serving year-round with Samaritan’s Purse through Operation Christmas Child, you will be a part of proclaiming the Gospel in more than 100 countries around the world,” said the organization in a press release. “Each shoebox gift can bring “Good News and Great Joy” to a child in need and their family.”

Interested individuals must complete and submit an online application, which includes questions about their personal testimony, gifts and abilities, and previous volunteer experience.

Individuals should be prepared to provide contact information for one pastoral/spiritual reference and two personal references. Prior to selection, volunteers will be expected to agree to and sign the ministry’s statement of faith and volunteer waiver.

After the completion of the online volunteer application process, individuals will be contacted by West Central PA Area Coordinator Karla Sunderlin to schedule an in-person interview.

Nearly 500,000 volunteers worldwide—with more than 150,000 of those in the U.S.—are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoebox gifts.

For more information or to apply for volunteer opportunities through Operation Christmas Child, please visit www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/volunteer-year-round/.

For more information or questions about the local volunteer opportunities, individuals may also contact Sunderlin via e-mail at [email protected] or phone at 814-496-4456.

Because of the generosity of donors across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.9 million shoeboxes in 2019. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and the eternal hope of the Gospel to children around the world.

Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2019, the ministry is now sending more than 10.5 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 100 countries.


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