COMMUNITY CONNECTION: BOXES FULL OF HOPE
SPREADING FAITH THROUGH THE LIGHT OF CHRIST
By: Kate Huffman
In a world that can often seem hopeless and dark, the smallest spark of light can spread the warmth of kindness.
If you aren’t familiar with Samaritan’s Purse, it’s an organization based on a similar principle; to provide spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. One of their most widely known ministries, Operation Christmas Child, distributes shoeboxes packed with gifts and toys to children in need across the globe. According to Samaritan Purse’s website, “Since 1993, more than 188 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love.”
The ROP Shop and Outdoor Concepts has been honored to participate in this wonderful program for the past few years. This fall, our associates shopped for items and gifts for children aged 2 to 14. We then packed the shoeboxes, taking care to fill each box to the brim! Together, we created over one hundred and ten shoeboxes to send to kids in need in the most desperate places of the world.
The owners of Outdoor Concepts Inc, Steve and Gayla Gerber, have visited the Samaritan’s Purse operations center in Boone, NC three times in as many years, spending a week each time to serve with the Samaritan’s Purse staff. When asked if she had a favorite Operation Christmas Child memory, Gayla said, “A young man that received a box as a child is working at the Boone processing center. He shared his story; it was very powerful and enlightening to hear the ‘end’ story of what we are doing here.” Gayla also shared how she and her husband Steve were able to tour the main headquarters of Samaritan’s Purse. In her words, all the different ministries that are under this organization are truly incredible. She and Steve were humbled at learning the work and effort that goes into providing so much to many individuals in different circumstances.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of a company whose owners not only allow us to volunteer and improve our communities, but who actively provide the opportunities to do so. If you would like to make a positive difference in the world by sharing the love and light of Christ, please consider donating to or packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse. In Gayla’s words, “I would encourage everyone to become acquainted with Samaritan’s Purse. There would be a place for each person to contribute in some way, whether with time, energy, finances, or prayer to this incredible organization.”
If you would like to learn more, please visit samaritanspurse.org.
There’s no denying that the past two years have been agonizing. The COVID pandemic has adversely affected many people in many places, but it has impacted impoverished countries even harder than most. Without access to medical care or the resources to stay safe, the poverty level in these countries has risen even further, causing issues like child labor, human trafficking, and lack of access to education to skyrocket. That’s why organizations such as Forgotten Children Worldwide are working even harder than ever to meet needs in India and Malawi. See how The ROP Shop is doing its part.
The ROP Shop would like to thank the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana for honoring us with the BBB Torch Award for 2021. We’re humbled not only to receive this award but also to be part of this wonderful community. As stated on the BBB’s website, “The Torch Awards is the most prestigious honor the BBB can present to a business or individual. Recipients not only believe in the high standards promoted by the BBB but live it out. The awarded company encourages and supports ethical business practices and leadership while acting on them and continuously integrating them into daily practices.”
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There’s no denying that this year has been a difficult one for many, and the world desperately needs the love of Christ. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, charity organizations across the world are ramping up for what promises to be one of the most challenging Christmases ever. One such organization that The ROP Shop is seeking to help is Operation Christmas Child...