Life-Changing Shoe Box


Photograph taken by Sheri Smith

Table overflowing with donations, FCCLA members work to fill up each shoe box with a variety of items.

In its 20 years, Operation Christmas Child (OCC) has donated over 100 million shoe-box gifts to over 150 countries worldwide whether it’s by bike, bus, train, plane, ship, or even by elephant or dog sled. By using these gift filled shoe boxes, Operation Christmas Child hopes to demonstrate God’s love for all children in need. The shoe boxes are filled with candy, toys, school supplies, sealed foods, toiletries, clothes, and many other items the children need. It’s truly a blessing to give a gift that can change a life, these boxes give children hope.

Our Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter at North Forsyth High School participated in OCC for the first time this year. FCCLA started off with twelve boxes, but their goal was always filling one more. “Students need to know that they really have the power to affect the lives of others,” said Sheri Smith, FCCLA advisor. “The gift of love and hope can really make a significant difference in the lives of children in need.” As the boxes were filled by FCCLA, the members were filled with appreciation for what they have. The members of FCCLA emphasized the importance of participating in Operation Christmas Child- “By making these boxes, we’re sharing joy with a child who might not otherwise find happiness on Christmas morning.” FCCLA hopes to continue participating in Operation Christmas Child as a new tradition.

North Forsyth’s FCCLA was successful in boxing the donated items for Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week. The collection centers will prepare the gifts to be sent where they are needed, and with a donation of seven dollars per box, the destination of the shoe box can be discovered. Any individual or organization can donate to Operation Christmas Child during national collection week; however, OCC accepts donations through out the entire year. Through these shoe boxes, children can receive more than just a gift; they receive a message of love and hope that will never be forgotten.