More than 146 million children have received gift-filled shoeboxes through the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child.
One such recipient, Désiré Nana, will visit Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma residents and volunteers who are working to collect more than 45,000 gifts for the project this year.
Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma residents have annually been part of an international Christmas project called Operation Christmas Child, which has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 146 million children in need since 1993. One such shoebox gift reached Nana in Burkino Faso, West Africa, when he was a young boy.
Nana, hosted by the local project of Operation Christmas Child, will be sharing his story with groups, churches and schools. His desire is to encourage residents as they kick off the upcoming collection season to fill more than 45,000 shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items – contributing to the global project goal of reaching 12 million children.
Nana grew up in a poor family of nine and received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift at the age of eight. Along with the box, Nana also received a booklet called The Greatest Gift, which told him about Jesus’ love. He would read through the booklet several times a day. Nana was inspired to work with children, and eventually served with the team of volunteers who coordinate the efforts of Operation Christmas Child in Burkina Faso.
Today Nana is studying at Victory Bible College in Oklahoma. He packs his own shoebox gifts and serves as a national spokesperson for Operation Christmas Child.
During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week Nov. 13 – 20, Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma residents can drop off gift-filled shoeboxes at multiple locations across Eastern Oklahoma
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 816-622-8316 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.
- September 16 at 10 a.m. at Rejoice Church, 13413 E. 106th St North, Owasso
- September 16 at 3 p.m., First Free Will Baptist Church, 713 N. Broadway, Checotah
- September 17 at 2 p.m., Crossroads Free Will Baptist Church, 2525 W. Main, Jenks