Franklin Graham Thanks Shoebox Processing Center Volunteers

December 1, 2017 • United States
Franklin Graham spoke to a crowd of community members, staff, and volunteers in Charlotte on Nov. 28.

Community events at three Operation Christmas Child processing centers focused on praying for shoebox gifts and thanking the volunteers who prepare them for distribution.

"Thank you for making it possible to get these shoebox gifts into the hands of children around the world," Franklin Graham said.

“Thank you for making it possible to get these shoebox gifts into the hands of children around the world,” Franklin Graham said.

Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham thanked volunteers and staff during a Nov. 28 community celebration at Operation Christmas Child’s shoebox processing center in Charlotte, North Carolina. He commended workers for their ongoing efforts in preparing shoebox gifts for distribution to children in more than 100 countries.

Through Operation Christmas Child, children are learning the true meaning of Christmas found in Jesus Christ, he told the gathering of processing center volunteers and community supporters.

Through our follow-up discipleship program for shoebox recipients called The Greatest Journey, “We are raising up boys and girls who will take the Gospel to the next generation,” said Franklin Graham. “Thank you for being a part of this.

“We are raising up boys and girls who will take the Gospel to the next generation.”

“Thank you for your work. Thank you for your time. Thank you for making it possible to get these shoebox gifts into the hands of children around the world,” he told the volunteers.

Franklin Graham greets volunteers at the Operation Christmas Child shoebox processing center in Charlotte.

Franklin Graham greets volunteers at the Operation Christmas Child shoebox processing center in Charlotte.

The event’s musical guests included the Tommy Coomes Band, guitarist Dennis Agajanian, and a children’s choir from Charlotte’s United Faith Christian Academy.

The Nov. 28 event in Charlotte was the second of three community celebrations held at processing centers this year. Similar events occurred at our Denver processing center on Nov. 27 and at the Southern California processing center on Dec. 1.

Hurricane Survivors Keep Sharing God’s Love

Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has brought good news and great joy to more than 146 million children in need across the world through our Operation Christmas Child project.

The Tommy Coomes Band led in worship.

The Tommy Coomes Band led in worship.

“From natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan (in the Philippines) to genocide survivors fleeing Rwanda, simple gift-filled shoeboxes have shined a light in the darkest of places to let children know that God loves them and they are not alone,” said Operation Christmas Child representative Gracie O’Loughlin on Nov. 28.

After Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean island of Barbuda, we held an early shoebox distribution this month for a group of children displaced by the storm. Some of those shoebox gifts were packed by children and families from the U.S. with their own hurricane survival stories.

The Brumbelows share their experiences in delivering shoeboxes to hurricane victims from Barbuda. Gracie O’Loughlin is at left.

The Brumbelows share their experiences in delivering shoeboxes to hurricane victims from Barbuda. Gracie O’Loughlin is at left.

Special guests at the Charlotte processing center event included Pastor Mark Brumbelow and his wife Cherry, both year-round Operation Christmas Child volunteers. They were among seven families of Grace Baptist Church in Wild Peach, Texas, who lost their homes to Hurricane Harvey.

The 30-member congregation decided to hold not only one but two more shoebox packing parties after the storm, bringing their yearly total to over 8,000 shoeboxes. During the past four years, they have packed more than 16,000 shoebox gifts.

“I know of no other way that a small church can have such a big impact for the kingdom of God than packing shoeboxes,” Mark told the volunteers who traveled to the Charlotte processing center from as far away as Maine.

Students from Charlotte’s United Faith Christian Academy sang at the Nov. 28 event.

Students from Charlotte’s United Faith Christian Academy sang at the Nov. 28 event.

Some of the shoeboxes the Wild Peach church packed after Hurricane Harvey were given to children from Barbuda who were displaced by Hurricane Irma. The Brumbelows were able to go to the Caribbean and participate firsthand in the distribution.

Cherry said it was special to be able to give shoebox gifts containing toys to children who had lost their toys and other belongings in the hurricane.

“We not only offered them joy for the moment, we were able to offer joy for eternity through the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Cherry said.

It isn’t too late to volunteer at one of our eight shoebox processing centers across the country. Register now. You also can still build a shoebox online or purchase gift cards for family and friends so they can do the same.

Note: This article was originally published Nov. 28 and has been updated to reflect the conclusion of the Dec. 1 event in California.

SUPPORT
Child with Operation Christmas Child shoebox
Operation Christmas Child Through our Operation Christmas Child project, God has given us unparalleled opportunities to touch the lives of millions of boys and girls in over 150 countries. Many of these children have never received a gift and never heard the true meaning of Christmas—until they open shoeboxes filled with gifts from people like you. Help bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to children, their families, and communities.

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