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Carol Perkins: Operation Christmas Child

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By Carol Perkins

Since I retired, I have often felt like a slug. Retirement does that to people who run in high gear instead of neutral. Then when I least expected it, a purpose knocked on my door.

When my minister asked if I would coordinate our annual Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Mission, which is part of Samaritan's Purse, I said yes. Although I had dutifully filled my shoeboxes each year, I didn't think about the actual mission. That was about to change.

At a meeting at the First Baptist Church in Bowling Green, leaders talked about how they reached their goals. One church with seventy members packed 800 boxes with a few toys, hygiene products, school supplies, and things like jump ropes, coloring books, crayons, etc. In comparison, our church prepared seventy boxes. Why not shoot for 200? Why not make teddy bears and totes and jewelry? Why not take up money each week and let Shoebox Shoppers find the best deals? We were off and running at Edmonton Baptist Church.

When the boxes reach the processing center in North Carolina, nondenominational materials are added to spread the word of God and lead children and their parents to salvation. They are offered a twelve-week "Greatest Journey" class. I never knew the part of the mission; I just fixed my boxes and forgot about them.

Then I thought, "Why not make this a county project?" With the right feedback, we formed a planning committee, set a date for a bake sale, solicited shoebox shopping donations, placed drop-off tubs (made by students) around town, leaned on businesses, and sent a letter to all local churches, encouraging their contribution (boxes or cash for the shoppers). We will meet our county goal if each of the 80 churches prepares ten boxes.

When I learned that a church in Greensburg had prepared 1,000 boxes, I said, "Surely our county can do this!" I believe we can with the power of God behind us, in front of us, and beside us. If you want to be part of this mission, email me at I have been told, "We should take care of our own," I say, " The children of the world are "our own."

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2022-09-28 11:32:44
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