Fall Has Officially Arrived

by Debbie Vanaman

Well now that fall has officially arrived, I don’t know about you but this time of year brings thoughts of how blessed I am to have a roof over my head, enough food to eat, a great job and a super family. Yes, God has truly blessed me.

Each one of us needs to count our blessings daily and thank God for each and every one of them. Children all around the world unfortunately don’t have it quite so easy. The children that Operation Christmas Child reaches have never heard the name of Jesus and some of them live in orphanages just waiting for a place to call home.

We had a speaker back in August who was one such young lady. Her testimony truly touched each person who was there to hear her first-hand account of receiving a shoebox and how her life was eventually changed for the better and now she’s a speaker sharing her testimony.

Shoebox collection week will be November 18th through November 25th. That’s when your shoeboxes need to be returned to the church so they can start their journey to eventually reach a child who will see how much someone they don’t know loves them to pack a box just for them. I will be needing help working that week and I will be in contact with you to find out when you can help.

For the month of October, I still need about 50 small hairbrushes and small toys. The dollar stores around town are a great place to shop for these items. Donation boxes are in the Welcome Center and in Fellowship Hall. I will also be needing donations of money to cover the shipping for the 100 boxes that our youth will be putting together next month. These donations can be put in with your regular offering and just mark shoeboxes on the memo line.

As always please keep shoeboxes in your prayers as they are daily finding their way into the hands of children around the world. REMEMBER – one shoebox can change a child’s life. Thanks and God bless you.

Over 20 years and growing!

by Debbie Vanaman

As a drop-off center here in Beckley for over 20 years, I’ve seen this program here at First Baptist grow from 700 shoeboxes received back in the late 90’s to over 3,000 for the past two years and for this I give thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to watch this mission grow and expand beyond my wildest dreams. Countless numbers of children and their families have been given the opportunity to learn about Jesus and his love not to mention the joy that each child feels as they open a box prepared just for them with what we would think as everyday items such as a toothbrush or a brush and comb or that special toy. Seeing pictures of those faces is what keeps me going year after year just warms my heart. We had an awesome speaker here at First Baptist in August who shared with us first-hand how she received a shoebox as a child and she has come full circle now as a speaker for Operation Christmas child – what a blessing.

Collection week will be November 18th through November 25th and I will be needing lots of volunteers to staff our collection center. So keep that week open and I’ll be in contact soon to set up the schedule.

For the month of September, your donations of colored pencils, small coloring books and small toys is what we will be collecting. These donations can be left in the boxes located in Fellowship Hall or in the Welcome Center.

Please keep this program in your prayers as all year long shoeboxes are delivered to children around the world and the name of Jesus is shared all through something as simple as a shoebox. God bless you all.

20+ Years and Going!

by Debbie Vanaman

First, I want to thank all of you who have supported Operation Christmas Child over the past 20 plus years that FBC has been involved in this great mission program. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been touched by your generosity in sharing the love of Christ through the power of a shoebox filled with toys, personal items and school supplies.

Now that summer has officially begun, the back to school rush will begin soon. For the months of July and August we will be collecting school supplies such as pencils, erasers, pens, crayons and small coloring books and note pads. There are donation boxes in Fellowship Hall and in the Welcome Center for your convenience. As always keep this program in your prayers as they continue to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to children and their families around the world.

It’s Amazing!

by Debbie Vanaman

In the 25 years that this program has been in existence, countless numbers of children and their families have heard the name of Jesus for the first time and imagine how it has changed their lives. There are more and more children who are now adults coming forward and sharing their stories on the Samaritan’s Purse website about how that one shoebox in a tiny town half-way around the world made such an impact in their lives. Some of them have even come to the United States and are now spokespersons for Operation Christmas Child. Imagine the changes that have taken place over 25 years. IT’S AMAZING.

Anyway, down to some numbers. This year a huge goal has been set for 2019 and that goal is to collect 11 million (yes I said million) shoeboxes this year in both the United States and around the world. This goal can be attained first and foremost through prayer. Prayer is a vital part of the mission of Operation Christmas Child and has been the cornerstone of its success so far.

Also equally important is your support of this mission. We have been collecting items so far this year and for that I thank you. We will be hopefully building 100 shoeboxes in November with the items you have been donating. For the month of June, I’m asking that you dig into that little pocket of “mad” money that I know we all have and contribute towards the shipping costs of these boxes. The shipping cost for each box is $9.00 so you do the math – that’s $900.00. Checks can be made out to First Baptist Church and just put the word “shoeboxes” on the memo line.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support of what has grown to be a phenomenal ministry.

20 Plus Years

by Debbie Vanaman

Over the 20 plus years that Operation Christmas Child has been in existence and he name of Jesus has reached literally millions of children and their families through what starts out as an empty shoebox. Most people would just toss out this empty box not realizing the impact that it could have. What started out right here in West Virginia with a lady named Mary Dameron going up and down her little holler collecting whatever she could has grown into a huge effort with millions of shoeboxes and countless workers in all phases of this program striving to share the name of Jesus to children who have never heard of our Savior.

We’ve been doing shoeboxes here at FBC for over 20 years and each year it still amazes me how people love to reach out and make a child’s life just a little bit better though this ministry. I sincerely thank you for your prayers and support of this mission project.

For the month of June, we will be collecting girl’s hair brushes, girl’s hair accessories and boy’s combs. Collection boxes are in the Welcome Center and also in Fellowship Hall. Your financial contributions are always welcome as well. We hope to pack 100 shoeboxes in the fall with what we’ve collected and each box needs $9.00 to cover the shipping of that box. Checks can be made out to the church with the word shoeboxes on the memo line.


Operation Christmas Child 2019

Children around the world are being blessed continually through the power of a simple shoebox packed with love with some of the simple things of life like a bar of soap and a washcloth, a toothbrush and a brush or comb. These might seem like small things to you but a child in a remote village in a far off country does not have these simple pleasures. Through Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child, these children learn first-hand that someone loves them enough to pack a shoebox just for them. That special toy that’s inside is always a blessing and means the world to these children. They also have the opportunity to learn about our Savior through a program called “The Greatest Journey”. Many, many children have given their lives to Jesus and this blessing resonates through their families and their villages.

This month we are asking for donations of school supplies such as pens, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, small writing tablets and coloring books. There are Samaritans Purse cartons both in the Welcome Center and in Fellowship Hall for your donations. As always, please keep this program in your prayers as teams of volunteers travel around the world bringing the love of God to children through a shoebox.

To See a Child’s Face Light Up

by Debbie Vanaman

Well hopefully most of the ice and snow by now will be behind us and spring is just around the corner (hopefully).  Despite the word Christmas in its title, the program distributes shoeboxes to children around the world all year long.   Last year over 10.6 million shoeboxes were collected worldwide.  WHAT A BLESSING.   To think it all starts with an empty shoebox.

To see a child’s face light up when he or she gets that special new toy that someone packed just for them is why we do what we do.  Another blessing is the school supplies that are packed.  Many children can’t go to school because their families can’t afford something as simple as a pencil or a box of crayons.   And on the personal hygiene side of the box, toothbrushes are a big hit. I’ve heard stories of as many as six children using the same toothbrush and for a child to have their very own just makes their day. 

And to top it all off, they get to share in the stories of Jesus and how his love reaches even to the uttermost parts of the world right into their towns.  The book is called “The Greatest Journey” and it walks the children step by step into who Jesus is and that he died on the cross for them.  Many, many decisions have been made and countless families have been impacted by this program.

Now it’s time for you to help.   We will be collecting SMALL stuffed toys for the month of March (and I do mean small.)  Collection boxes are in the Welcome Center and Fellowship Hall.  Your prayers are also appreciated as Samaritan’s Purse continues to spread the love of Jesus around the world through the power of a shoebox.    God bless you all. 

Operation Christmas Child 2019

by Debbie Vanaman

Well the month of January certainly was a snowy and cold month.  So for the month of February we will continue to collect bar soap and washcloths.  Collection boxes will be in Fellowship all and the Welcome Center for your your donations.

Once again, as always, I ask you to keep this mission in your prayers as they continue to spread the love of Jesus Christ through something as simple as a shoebox.  God bless you all.

It’s 2019 Already?

by Debbie Vanaman

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s 2019 already and it’s really hard to think about Christmas 2019 because it seems so far away.  This past shoebox season was a huge success all because of the generosity of people just like you.  We packed and packed and packed so many boxes that came in from churches and organizations until I thought we could pack no more.  So many children will be blessed by these shoeboxes and will learn first-hand of the love of Jesus Christ.

Now it’s time to start to plan for our 2019 season and it all starts with a bar of soap and a washcloth which is what I am asking you to bring during the month of January.  Collection boxes will be in Fellowship Hall and the Welcome Center for your donations.

Once again, as always, I ask you to keep this mission in your prayers as they continue to spread the love of Jesus Christ through something as simple as a shoebox.  God bless you all.

Operation Christmas Child 2018

by Debbie Vanaman

The month of November is the culmination of an entire year of shopping for your shoebox items.   The youth will be packing the shoeboxes with what you’ve donated all year and getting them ready to go on the first leg of their trip to Princeton and then onto Charlotte, North Carolina.  From there they will be distributed to children around the world who, for some, will hear the name of Jesus for the first time.   They will hear the stories of Jesus and hopefully give their heart to him and then spread the word to their families and villages.  That’s’ why we do what we do – to spread the name of Jesus around the world.

What I will need from you this month is an hour or two of your time.  The week of November 12th is collection week so I will need volunteers to work in the Welcome Center receiving shoeboxes from 10:00 to 2:00 pm.  This is where the ladies (or gentlemen) can help out.   Then on November 17th we will hopefully load up and take all that we’ve collected down to Princeton and that’s where I need strong arms to help.  This is hard work so I need some strong men to meet me in the Welcome Center that morning.  Times to be announced soon.

Please pray for collection week around the country as well as distribution of shoeboxes around the world.  Your help and prayers are greatly appreciated.