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The ROP Shop Employees packing Christmas Boxes for Samaritan Purse's Operation Christmas Child The ROP Shop Employees packing Christmas Boxes for Samaritan Purse's Operation Christmas Child
December 7, 2021

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.

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