As young girls, Tristan and Shiloh presented the idea of packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to their church. The first year Turon Community Church, with an average attendance of 55, packed 117 shoebox gifts. Seven years later, in 2022, they packed 432. Turon Community Church is placed in the tiny community of Turon, Kansas which has a population of just 309 residents.
Turon Community Church joined with Operation Christmas Child, a global project of Samaritan’s Purse, to provide these simple gifts filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys. This opportunity has expanded the church’s vision for children in over 170 countries around the world. “The missions outlook of our church has grown and grown with Operation Christmas Child being a part of the effort. I have been blessed with a wonderful congregation who has embraced this mission in such a powerful way,” said Steve Gill, Pastor of Turon Community Church.
During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 13 – 20, residents from all-over south-central Kansas will join in packing shoebox gifts and bringing them to over 25 area drop-off locations. Volunteers work year-round for this week and are hoping to collect over 28,000 shoebox gifts for children in need around the world. “Families, churches, schools, even scout groups join together to pack shoeboxes for children, as a tangible expression of God’s love for them,” said Area Coordinator, Steve Fast. “It’s a great way to teach children that it really is as much fun to give as to receive.”
Join in the project by packing a shoebox gift and dropping it off during National Collection Week, or by packing a shoebox gift online. Find drop-off locations near you through our Drop-Off Locator.
Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Operation Christmas Child will celebrate its 30th year of ministry!
MEDIA NOTE: For complete media materials and high-resolution downloadable photos, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/occnewsroom.