The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Shoeboxes Filled for Operation Christmas Child


November 29, 2017

Michelle Bigelbach / The Courier

Pictured left to right are Joe Braaksma, Karla Zerbe, Amy Fast and George Alberda as they load up the truck with shoeboxes donated by the community for Operation Christmas Child on Nov. 20.

On Nov. 20, George Alberda and Joe Braaksma from Grace Bible Church in Bozeman, made the drive to northeast Montana to pick up boxes for Operation Christmas Child at the Glasgow Evangelical Church. Glasgow was one of three stops for Alberda and Braaksma, as they also stopped in Havre and Sidney before making their way back to Bozeman.

Glasgow has been a collection site since Operation Christmas Child started in 1970. There have been many collection sites through the years, however this year was the first year the Evangelical Church was a collection site, allowing the community to provide a shoebox gift filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys to children in need around the world. The shoeboxes were available at Shopko, and anyone willing to donate filled the boxes with dolls, stuffed animals, coloring books, hygiene items such as washcloths, towels, toothbrush, crayons, pencils and pens.

The church collected 479 shoeboxes from the Glasgow and Wolf Point communities, which equated to Alberda and Braaksma collecting approximately 33 big boxes from the Church. After Alberda and Braaksma completed the trip and returned back to Bozeman, all of the boxes made their way to Denver, and then to the Samaritan Purse headquarters in North Carolina. From there, all of the boxes collected are organized and distributed to children. The Evangelical Church would like to thank the volunteers, local churches, and all the people who donated items and helped out financially to this project.

According to a release, Operation Christmas Child is the world's largest Christmas project of its kind. In 2016, nearly 11.5 million shoebox gifts were collected worldwide with 9.1 million in the United States. Their hope in 2017 was to have enough shoeboxes collected to reach another 12 million children in more than 100 countries. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.


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