Severn Run had another amazing year serving and collecting for Operation Christmas Child. Each year Severn Run serves as a drop-off location during National Collection Week.
Here’s what happened this year:
- 650 filled shoeboxes were returned to Severn Run
- 3,657 shoeboxes were brought from outside the church and processed through the Church at Severn Run relay center
- 24,940 shoeboxes were processed elsewhere and loaded at the Church at Severn Run filling four semi-trailers (representing a 9.5 % growth over last year's total)
- Over 200 volunteer hours during collection week
- The Church at Severn Run also sent 5 teams to the Baltimore processing center, totaling over 30 people
Operation Christmas Child offers a great opportunity to experience the spirit of Christmas that can leave lasting impressions. This opportunity also gives children a chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus. My wife, who had participated in gifting boxes as a child, recalls the impact that experience had on her in terms of understanding how she could share God's love with a little girl of her same age halfway around the world. She also enjoyed feeling connected to someone who would delight in the same things she did. This is something that she still thinks of now as she continues to support Operation Christmas Child each year.
As for me, this was my first year packing a box and I really enjoyed it! I saw a few interviews with children who had received boxes and spoke of the love and importance they felt after receiving their gifts, which lead them to coming to know Jesus as lord of their lives. This was very encouraging for me and I became excited to help out. I had a lot of fun putting myself in the place of a 10-14 year old boy when selecting gifts for my shoebox this year. It had been a while since I got to check out slingshots and toy cars.
The true spirit of Christmas is exemplified in Operation Christmas Child, where simple gifts in shoeboxes bring pure joy and love to children around the world. Along with the shoebox gifts, each child is invited into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which offers them the greatest gift that one could imagine. Samaritan's Purse estimates that over 150,000 volunteers have collected and distributed the shoebox gifts to 12 million children this year. This is a remarkable example of God's love for us as we share with those who could otherwise miss out on that love.
If you are interested in a life-changing experience with Operation Christmas Child, you don’t have to wait until next year. Here are some ways you can serve:
- Being on the Church at Severn Run's lead team; which includes planning displays and setup fro Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week, serving at Chik-fil-a drop off days, and helping on Sunday's handing out shoeboxes, answering questions and such.
- Operation Christmas Child has year-round volunteer opportunities available as well, of which both Elaine Stolarek-Houston and Pastor Steve are a part of. These teams include: Church Relations, Community Relations, Prayer team, Collection Network team, Student Relations, Media Relations, Admin Support, Logistics and Leadership.