Technically Samaritan’s Purse (SP) is the parent charity organisation and Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is simply one of the high-profile programs within it. Samaritan’s Purse has a larger following and is more prominent in the US whereas World Vision occupies that equivalent position of dominant charitable organisation in Australia. The relationship between the two is in their shared founder – Robert Pierce. Whilst World Vision is nowadays less explicitly Christian/religious based, Samaritan’s Purse is.
My involvement with Operation Christmas Child first began in 2009 when I first learnt about the packing of shoe boxes during a church service in the October/November time-frame. It became an annual contribution on my part to fill a shoebox with items from the six categories:
- Something to love
- Something for school
- Something to wear
- Something to play with
- Something for personal hygiene
- Something special
Initially, my contribution started small, with a handful of shoe boxes. Over the five years to date, this effort has steadily increased to the stage where this year, I joined a group of similar-minded volunteers where we teamed up to form a team-oriented effort:
- Assisting the OCC organisation directly as Church Coordinators helping to connect with the various churches in the Monash council area.
- Coordinating a church-wide effort to pack shoe boxes.
At the commencement of the 2016 season, previous content from this page has been relocated in an effort to better structure all content. The original content was specific to the 2014 season and is thus available as that year’s review listed below. The 2015 season was reviewed under the formal banner of a ministry report for the church’s Annual Report. It is reproduced in full with appropriate censoring given the public accessible nature of XBOP.
Through OCC, volunteers have the opportunity for greater exposure to the wider ministry that is Samaritan’s Purse. Specifically, the Discovery Trip is designed to provide a holistic overview of the other programs that SP operates:
- international disaster relief
- health & medical clinics
- safe drinking water
- education & school buildings
- safe migration (fighting human trafficking)
- community collectives/cooperatives
Attending the Victorian state conference in April 2016 helped to provide this same level of overview and appreciation. OCC is the biggest program being administered by SP – it makes up over 50% of the incoming donations and thus provides frontage for the other programs.