Online Staff Report
May 4, Rockford’s Temple Baptist Church, 3215 E. State St., was recognized for its service to children in need around the world. For more than 12 years, Temple Baptist Church has served as an official collection point for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that delivers millions of gift-filled shoe boxes to children affected by war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty and persecution in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Thousands of shoe box gifts packed and donated in Rockford each year are collected by volunteers at more than 150 churches, individuals and organizations, and brought to Temple Baptist Church.
“It takes a tremendous effort to get shoe box gifts into the hands of millions of hurting children each year, and our church partners play a vital part,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “On behalf of the children who receive these gifts, we thank everyone who makes it possible.”
Serena Butler, Upper Midwest regional manager for Operation Christmas Child, added: “Operation Christmas Child is excited to formally honor Temple Baptist Church for their dedication and 12 years of service. Reaching millions of children each year with the good news and great joy of God’s love would not be possible without these wonderful ministry partners.”
Robert Mullen, collection center coordinator for Operation Christmas Child and volunteer at Temple Baptist Church, said: “Temple Baptist Church, along with 150 churches and other organizations, have been the success of Rockford sending over 48,000 shoe boxes the last 12 years. It has been an honor to serve as the coordinator in the Rockford area for over the last 12 years and to participate the last 15 years in sending gift-filled shoe boxes to children around the world. I want to thank Rockford for the support and donations to the organization for the last 12 years, and look forward to another collection week Nov. 17-24, 2014, with a goal of 10,000 to 12,000 shoe box gifts.”
More than 84,000 churches and groups in the United States partner with Operation Christmas Child to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to millions of needy children around the world. Around 4,000 of those churches serve as collection points for the project. Through Operation Christmas Child, kids, families, and groups fill shoe boxes with items like toys, school supplies and hygiene items, creating gifts that can make a significant difference in the lives of hurting children around the world.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, the organization has delivered gift-filled shoe boxes to more than 113 million children in more than 100 countries. In 2014, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoe box gifts to reach another 10 million children.
For more about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (815) 397-0302 or visit samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoe boxes is Nov. 17-24; however, shoe box gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C., or can be packed online at samaritanspurse.org.
Posted May 7, 2014