Operation Christmas Child is going on this week in McPherson and throughout the nation. It’s a time when McPherson area residents turn empty shoeboxes into gifts for children living in poverty.
Operation Christmas Child is run through Samaritan’s Purse and is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. Since its inception by Franklin Graham in 1993, it’s collected and delivered more than 135 million gift boxes to children in over 150 countries.
And McPherson has done its part to contribute. This year, the local goal is to collect 2600 shoeboxes.
“McPherson is a fantastic relay center,” said Evelyn Hyde, Central Kansas Area Coordinator. “And I know that they had a lot of boxes coming in. They just do a tremendous job. It’s been a tremendous ministry in that area.”
Shoe boxes are collected and filled with things like school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and fun toys.
“We put in stuffed animals,” Hyde said, as an example. “If it’s an older boy, we put in building things: nails and hammers and that kind of thing.”
Shoe boxes are filled and designated for boys and girls in different age groups. But Hyde said that boys in the 10-14 age group usually don’t receive as many boxes because people don’t seem to know what to put in them.
“Something as simple as a hammer,” Hyde offered as an idea. “The kids work on things right along – if they have a dad, or sometimes they don’t have parents. They’re putting together some kind of a shelter… a lot of these kids, this is the only gift they’ve ever received.”
Usually the boxes collected in this local area have gone to children in Mexico. However, Evelyn says that’s not always the case.
“Every once in a while, a whole truck is rerouted somewhere else,” Hyde said. “And a kid gets a special box that was just for him.
“Because there’s all kinds of stories about this little child prayed for this, and lo and behold when that box came, in that box was just what the child had prayed for, which just absolutely blows my mind.”
Local drop off times are from 5:00 to 8:00 pm through Friday, and from noon to 4:00 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the City Fellowship Church, 118 S. Main in McPherson.
For more information, call City Fellowship Church at 620-241-4448 or visit the website for Operation Christmas Child at