Samaritan’s Purse brings gifts to children all over the world

| November 19, 2019

COSHOCTON – Last year, Samaritan’s Purse sent 11.5 million shoe boxes to children in more than 100 countries. Grace United Methodist Church, as well as many other churches in the area and across the nation, are continuing the more than 20 year tradition this year as church groups and individuals from across the community are dropping off shoe boxes filled with toys, school supplies, and hygienic items for children who are less fortunate all around the world.

Park United Methodist Church became a shoe box drop off site in the late 1990s. When they closed two years ago and merged with Grace United Methodist Church, they took over and have been a drop site for the boxes for two years now.

“Grace said we want to do this because it’s so important,” said Cathy Hudson, drop off site coordinator. “We are so appreciative that they wanted to do this.”

When shoe boxes are dropped off at the church, each shoe box is logged, prayed over by Deacon Terrie Baker and other volunteers, and packed safely into shipping cartons that will travel first to Millersburg, then loaded on a semi-truck and sent to North Carolina where they will then travel all over the world sharing the Gospel and bringing joy to children who live in impoverished areas.

“The cartons that we have here may end up on the back of a camel going to some remote location,” said Hudson. “Some of them are loaded on canoes and taken to villages along the river. This allows us to pass on the Gospel, and we are able to be missionaries through this whole process.”

Last year, the church filled 110 shipping cartons with some boxes left over. As of Monday evening, Nov. 18, Hudson said they had 410 shoe boxes that had been dropped off. On Sunday, Nov. 24, a truck and trailer from Baker’s IGA will load the shipping cartons and take them down to Millersburg where they will be shipped to North Carolina.

For groups who have a large number of boxes to drop off, The Garden Patch has lent four carts to the church so that multiple boxes can be loaded onto the cart and wheeled into the parlor at one time.

Items that can be packed into shoe boxes include but are not limited to dolls, stuffed animals, shoes, toy cars, jump ropes, socks, hats, sunglasses, pens, crayons, notebooks, coloring books, toothbrushes, soap, washcloths, and a message to the child. A donation of $9 is asked as it costs money to ship the cartons.

Most boxes are sent to pastors who are trying to start a church in a non-church area of the country. They will have a special children’s program where they encourage all the local children to come, and they hand out the shoe boxes and teach them about the Gospel.

“It’s a way to reach the children, the parents, the village, and on and on,” said Hudson. “It could be the first gift a child has ever received because some of these children live in huts. Some of the pictures we’ve seen, these children live in sad situations.”

Some of them travel to orphanages. The boxes used to be wrapped in Christmas wrapping before Samaritan’s Purse made a custom-designed box for the program, and Hudson remembers one story where a little girl in an orphanage hung the wrapping paper on the wall above her bed because it was so pretty.

Hudson said the local Samaritan’s Purse shoe box program has grown. The first year, they received more than 400 boxes during that week. Now, that same number is dropped off at the church all in one day.

“We are just thankful for every individual, every church, every organization, every box that comes in,” said Hudson.

Drop off days and hours are as follows: Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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