Giving Gifts Around the World

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child is November 16–23. 

Since 1993, Samaritan's Purse has sent 113 million shoeboxes to children in more than 130 countries through their Operation Christmas Child ministry.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

"It's so much more than a box. A lot of these children have never received a gift in their life and have never heard of Jesus Christ," said Kelly Hill of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights. "It is such a blessing to be able to share the gospel with millions of children and families through a shoebox."

Loren Pavel, of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights, and Hill coordinate Operation Christmas Child for Walnut Creek. As a team they get the information out to all the locations and order the materials needed to equip people to pack boxes.

Later this month they will collect and deliver the boxes to New Hope Assemblies of God Church in Urbandale, an Iowa collection center. All boxes collected in Iowa will be sent to the processing center in Minneapolis for inspection. From there, boxes are shipped to children all over the world.

Loren and Kelly both serve on the year-round Operation Christmas Child volunteer team with Sarah Johnson, Stephanie Hoch, and Tim and Sara Laehn, all of Walnut Creek Downtown.

At Walnut Creek Downtown's Christmas In July event this summer, volunteers packed over 2,000 shoeboxes.

The deadline to turn in boxes is Sunday, November 22. Boxes can be brought to any Walnut Creek location. For information about how to get involved with the year-round volunteer team, contact Kelly at

Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, visit

By Jackie Wallentin  
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights