Christmas joy comes in shoeboxes


Can there be joy in a box? For many impoverished children around the world, a simple shoebox does provide joy at Christmas.

First Baptist Church in Cleveland is collecting shoeboxes filled with items that a child would enjoy or need as part of the Operation Christmas Child project through Nov. 23.

For over 20 years, the church has participated in this event.

Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.

Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ."

Jackie McMinn is spearheading this project for the church and said they collected almost 500 boxes last year.

"This year, our goal is 600," she said. "We do this to help those in need across the world and to show them the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas," she said.

McMinn said people who want to participate could fill a shoebox with things kids would like such as a T-shirt, small toys that are not Army related, toiletries, and small stuffed animals.

For more ideas, visit

Shoeboxes may be dropped off at First Baptist Church at 101 N. Bolivar Avenue in Cleveland Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the 23rd from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The web site gave instructions on packing a box.

Start with an average size cardboard or plastic shoebox.

Decide whether you are packing for a boy or a girl and the age category: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.

Select a quality "wow" toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal.

Then add other fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies.

Include a personal note and photo.

A donation of $7 on line will allow a person to receive a tracking label and follow the box to its destination.

McMinn said she worked with this project because she had a heart for this ministry.

"I did it as a child and now I work in the children's ministry at church. I try to be involved and help children learn about Jesus," she said.

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