Norfolk shoebox champion invites us to bring joy
Trish Ellse from Alive Church in Wymondham is calling on churches and families in Norfolk to rise above the challenges of the pandemic and pack more shoebox gifts than ever.
Trish is Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) for the East of England and works from home in Norfolk, travelling when it is safe to do so. OCC is part of Samaritans Purse which annually distributes Christmas gifts in shoeboxes to millions of children across the globe.
“I went to Bosnia in 2018 and saw the joy a shoebox gift can have on a child,” said Trish. “I find it wonderful to know that anyone can be part of that joy by packing a simple gift. Even though churches such as my own in Wymondham are not able to hold a packing party as we usually would, I would love to encourage churches, groups and families to pack shoebox gifts at home.”
OCC has been collecting and delivering shoeboxes—filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys—to children worldwide for three decades. People wanting to join in the work can pack shoeboxes and bring them to one of hundreds of Drop-Off Locations during National Collection Week, November 9-16. Drop-Off Locations are listed already and will be updated until the end of October, at www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/DOL and can be searched by city, town, or postcode.
“Much of the world has been gripped with fear, and this is especially hard for children,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Now more than ever, these boys and girls need to know God loves them. Operation Christmas Child delivers the hope found only in Jesus Christ.”
The organisation also offers an option to virtually pack a shoebox gift. Through this online tool, even those shielding at home can be part of this important undertaking to share the hope of the Gospel with children around the world.
Those interested in more information on Operation Christmas Child Covid-19 protocols, can visit Important COVID-19 Updates for the latest information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Operation Christmas Child seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1990, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.
Pictured above is Trish Ellse at a shoebox distribution in Bosnia in 2018. The temperature was - 6 degrees centigrade.