In Las Vegas on November 14, volunteers at the Life Springs Christian Church packed up a multitude of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child in a massive pre packing party, this group of hard working folks get together every year to make sure that children across the world can get a present for that special day. The entire day was spent with folks volunteering their time, both at the church and at home, in pre packing boxes, to help spread a little joy to kids who may have never received a Christmas gift before. Brenda Meehan, Jamie Padilla, and Jennie Quillan all took time out of their busy day to have a chat, film a couple of videos and show just what goes into a shoebox gift.
This charity, run by Samaritan’s Purse, which is supported locally by the Sundvick Legacy Center, has been going on for over 13 years in Las Vegas alone and last year these industrious folks packed over 16,000 boxes to be sent across the globe. A lot of care and detail goes into each gift and another company who support the charity’s operation are Nike. They donated over 5,000 shoe boxes which had been recycled by Nike customers and the church was allowed to collect all they could pick up.
The sportswear company are not the only big hearted people in this story of caring and sharing. Local Las Vegas toy company Toys 4 Smiles donated a lot of wooden toy cars for boys and, according to Jamie, girls who also get a big kick out of the vehicles. The run up to the week of preparing, packing and shipping all the shoeboxes out for Operation Christmas Child, including the pre packing party which took place on Friday, is all about collecting donations and putting together boxes at home before meeting at the church for the “big push.”
Jamie took the Guardian Liberty Voice through the “assembly line” that will be fully charged on Saturday, November 15 where they will be pushing to get a big start on the week ahead. Ms. Padilla explained how many people had supported the operation by either crafting “homemade” gifts that ranged from bookmarks for one of the over 5,000 bibles donated by one person, to handmade jump ropes. The latter gift looks beautiful in the video and as Jaime explained, one man crocheted each one individually.
The boxes contain things that many take for granted in the U.S. Things like a toothbrush, which is part of the hygiene package in each box. This helpful little item gives some child a chance to have their own personal items like, the brush, and soap – which is supplied to Operation Christmas Child by local charity Clean the World so that each recipient has their own means of cleanliness in every single shoebox.
School supplies, that children in this country get at their institute of learning, have to be provided by the students themselves in a lot of countries so these are included, along with clothing, stuffed toys, and other things. Each box has a little something different in it as Jamie says, “God tells which things to put in.” The Guardian Liberty Voice has included two videos about the pre packing party below. The first has Brenda and Jennie talking overall about what the charity Operation Christmas Child means and where folks can go to learn how to pack their own boxes and where to drop them off the week of November 17. They also talk about the celebrities who support the gift giving event. The second has Jamie walking through the process of packing a shoebox and what goes in them. Both videos include information for folks who might want to give a child a gift of love and caring for Christmas.
By Michael Smith
Life Springs Christian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada