Amarillo, TX - A local church is collecting more than 17,000 shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse.
This week is Operation Christmas Child's National Collection Week. During the week churches around the country will collect donations for the upcoming holiday season. The collection event is a project of Samaritan's Purse, which is an international Christmas relief and evangelism organization that collects shoeboxes filled with goodies to give to children for Christmas.
Saint Stephen United Methodist Church is collecting all shoeboxes in the Panhandle area that will be given to the organization. Each box is filled with toys, candy, school supplies, and hygiene items for boys or girls in a specific age group.
Bunavista Baptist Church is one of the churches participating in the drop off, they dropped off 155 boxes to Saint Stephens. Beth Kitchens, who is a member of Bunavista Church, said she has been making boxes on her own for twenty years before joining her church in making them, and she truly enjoys it. "It makes me feel great that other kids are blessed because of our efforts," Kitchens said.
Kendall Meek, the Director of Young Adults Ministry at Saint Stephen, said each year the organization increases their goal of boxes to collect. "They increase the goal every year we've done it here and we've been able to meet that goal," Meek said. "Last year is was around 16,000, so they've been increasing it about a thousand boxes a year for us here."
Meek said making a shoebox is a fun way to get the whole family involved, especially kids. Kitchens believes everyone should get involved in this organization. "I think everyone should do it not just the churches because it's a sense of giving back to the community and giving back to children all over the world who don't have what we have," Kitchens said.