LifeWay Stores Plans Christmas Project for the Needy Children

( [email protected] ) Nov 08, 2003 08:15 AM EST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --LifeWay Christian Stores will host an Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection party on Nov. 22, Saturday from 11am to 3pm in helping Operations Christmas Child, which is an annual project of Samaritan’s Purse, to provide worldwide underprivileged children with shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts.

LifeWay Christian Stores is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention and Samaritan's Purse is a Christian relief and evangelism organization led by Franklin Graham.

The partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, which has been well known for its international philanthropic outreach, has opened up the door for LifeWay to reach out to the poor effectively.

"Samaritan's Purse is known and respected in evangelical circles for its vast international philanthropic endeavors," McKinney, LifeWay Christian Stores' manager of local store marketing, said. "This organization strives to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of poverty-stricken societies. We [at LifeWay] believe it is important to partner with evangelical Christian organizations such as Samaritan's Purse, so that the Gospel of Christ is promoted in a more expedient way throughout the globe."

The shoebox will be filled with new toys, books, school supplies, candy, hygiene items, etc. donated by the project participants. Drop-off centers are located in each of the 50 states.

"By utilizing our retail locations as a special drop-off point, it allows communities to easily be involved while allowing LifeWay Christian Stores to fulfill a portion of our ministry focus," said McKinney, "It is our prayer that these children will be surprised by the Christmas toys, but more than anything, we hope their lives are impacted by the Gospel message that will be shared through this opportunity."

Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest children's Christmas outreach, has distributed more than 24 million shoebox gifts for underprivileged children in 118 countries since its inception in 1993. In 2002, Operation Christmas Child collected 6,199,783 shoebox gifts worldwide -- 3,606,205 in the United States

For this year’s holiday season, many children will again experience love of Christ with the shoebox gifts.