Sanibel Community Church leads drive to fill shoeboxes for the needy worldwide
For the fifth year in a row, the LOGOS kids and Sanibel Community Church will be collecting for the Christmas Shoebox drive, with empty shoeboxes waiting to be filled with goods, gifts and necessities through Nov. 15.
The Christmas Shoebox drive is an effort through the Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse, which distributes the shoeboxes filled with such things as toys, candy, school supplies, hygienic products and just some basic necessities which most of us take for granted.
“The year before last, the Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse sent out their 100 millionth shoebox, which literally goes worldwide, as well here in America,” said Sanibel Community Church Christmas Shoebox organizer Michael Bugler. “Last year, we collected over 200 shoeboxes through the Church. It’s grown every year since we’ve started this five years ago.”
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization, which provides spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.
Empty Shoeboxes will be available in the Courtyard at Sanibel Community Church, located at 1740 Periwinkle Way (next to Jerry’s Market) on Sundays through Nov. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., or from the Church Office Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Or you may use any shoebox you have at home.
So what goes into a shoebox? A list of things can be found here: www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/order-materials/.
Otherwise, some examples include such things as “Wow” items as a soccer ball with a pump, stuffed animals, toys, dolls, musical instruments, shoes, clothes, yo-yos and jump ropes.
“We do not take any toys which are considered ‘war’ toys, such as guns,” Bugler said. “Many of these shoeboxes are delivered to war-torn countries, and these kids don’t need anymore reminders of war or violence.”
But the shoeboxes can also be filled with basic needs which can be taken for granted, but make a recipient’s life so much easier to live. They include school supplies such as pens, pencils, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books.
Hygiene items are also popular, since many of the poverty-stricken countries lack such basic items as toothbrushes, bar soap, combs and washcloths.
People are also encouraged to leave a personal note and enclose family photos and if an address and name is left, the child maybe able to write you back.
Items not acceptable include used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers and aerosol cans.
“Chocolate is not accepted because it will melt and make a mess in the box,” Bugler said. “It is also asked to leave an envelope with $7 in it to help pay for shipping to these countries. But, one of the good things about this, is that the shoeboxes are also delivered to children right here in the United States, which is important.”
The age and gender of whom the box will be delivered to can be chosen, and they include ages 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.
Once an empty shoebox is picked up from the Church, the filled one can be returned and dropped off at the Sanibel Community Church during the hours listed above.
The last collection date is Monday, Nov. 16.
“I see many families in the Dollar Tree buying items for their shoebox, and it usually costs no more than $20,” Bugler said. “It’s such a joy to see some of the videos of the kids when the boxes are delivered, it’s a real joy doing it for the children.”
For additional information about the church or the LOGOS program, call 472-2684.