To a child who has nothing, a shoe box containing peppermints, flip flops and a painted wooden school bus, means they have something to smile about.
Last year, 7.9 million shoeboxes were sent to children in 130 countries. Since Operation Christmas Child began in 1993, 69 million shoeboxes have been sent from the United States.
For many of these children, who live in poverty, it’s the only gift they have ever received, said Dawn Arnold, who along with Nicky Power, head up the local effort to get each church and civic group in Harrison County involved.
“Even if you’re not rich, you can get things together over a year to fill a shoebox,” said Arnold.
In America and even Harrison County, there are services in place to help families who may not have the means for giving their children Christmas gifts, but to an impoverished nation, even the shoebox is treasured.
“These are going to children who don’t even have running water,” Arnold said.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, which is organized through the Franklin Graham Ministries. Arnold and Power expanded their involvement after visiting a regional processing center in Boone, N.C.
Anyone wanting information about Operation Christmas Child or how to help, should contact Arnold at 234-6706 or at home at 234-2096. Power can be reached at 588-9425.
Shoeboxes should be ready for collection Nov. 16-23. Those can be taken to the Christian Bookstore on Main Street or to Arnold at Physicians’ Lab, 469 W. Pleasant St.
For more about this story, see this week's Cynthiana Democrat.