Sarah Palin joins Franklin Graham to speak to volunteers preparing Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts for shipment around the world
The hum of activity at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Charlotte paused for a while on Friday as former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin joined Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, and other special guests to thank God for providing nearly 10 million shoebox gifts this year.
Palin has handed out shoeboxes to children in Haiti. She told the hundreds of volunteers how much their work—and the work of thousands like them in Processing Centers across the country—is appreciated.“You let God shine right through you when you volunteer for this wonderful program,” she said. “When my husband Todd and (daughter) Bristol and I handed out those boxes to those little kids there, to orphans, some of them had never received a gift before. Their eyes lit up and their hearts were warm knowing that someone had spent their time and resources to show love for them. What you are providing—what our world needs more of—is a selfless act. I thank you. I can speak on behalf of a lot of people. You are appreciated.”
Gov. McCrory, a former mayor of Charlotte, also thanked everyone who participates in the program that communicates God’s love through the power of a simple gift.“Grace and mercy are my two favorite words,” he said. “I just want to thank all of you for showing grace. It’s coming from the heart, and out of our love for Jesus, and that’s what Christmas is all about. I came here many times as mayor on this same day and am so honored to represent the entire state of North Carolina to say thank you. It’s all about giving, and each one of you is giving. May God bless each and every one of you.”
This year, Operation Christmas Child will collect nearly 10 million shoebox gifts that will be delivered to boys and girls in 117 countries. It takes an army of compassionate people to make that possible.“Operation Christmas Child is the largest Christmas program in the world, and it’s because of you guys,” Graham told the volunteers in Charlotte. “We give God the glory. It’s God who’s done it, and God has used you and the millions of people around the world who pack these shoeboxes.”
The true impact of the program is seen when each individual shoebox reaches its destination and is given in love.
“Every box gives us an opportunity to touch a child,” Graham said. “These boxes give the churches around the world an opportunity to reach children that may have never been reached. They tell the children the true meaning of Christmas, God’s Son, Jesus Christ. And that God so loved the world, that He gave. That’s what Christmas is all about. It’s about our Lord, Jesus. Christ. That God gave His Son for our sins.”