Amid the back-to-school sales and shopping sprees, one local group is looking past their own checklist by collecting school supplies for children living in poverty overseas. For some of these children, access to these simple items is essential to an education.
Throughout the month, volunteers with the North Central Arkansas Operation Christmas Child team fill empty shoeboxes with school supplies, alongside hygiene items and fun toys. Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, will deliver these shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.
“We often forget how fortunate our children are to be able to attend school and have the supplies they need,” said volunteer Jennifer Baker, Media Coordinator. “Notebooks and paper, toys, hygiene items send a message to children that God loves them and has not forgotten them. Knowing that children are being impacted around the world, changes back-to-school shopping from a task to a joy.”
The back-to-school sales in North Arkansas allow OCC volunteers to provide even more children the opportunity to receive an education, such as Luis Gonzales, a shoebox recipient raised by a single mother in the ghetto of Panama City, Panama.
“When I was about to enter my first year of school, my family didn’t have the money to buy school supplies,” said Gonzalez. His experience is not uncommon for many children living in poverty. One day, Gonzalez received a gift-filled shoebox from Operation…
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