November is a Busy Month

by Debbie Vanaman

The month of November, as busy as it is with election day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, is also the culmination of a year-long effort for Operation Christmas Child. We’ve been collecting items all year long and this month the youth and children of our church will gather and pack shoeboxes for children all around the world who most likely have never heard the name of Jesus.

Collection week this year is November 14th through 18th and your help and prayers will be necessary to once again pull off this huge effort.  Last year we received over 3,000 shoeboxes from area churches and organizations, a record for the 15 years we’ve been a collection center. Saturday, November 19th, will be the day we will be loading the truck with what hopefully will be a huge number of cartons filled with shoeboxes.  Time for this day will be announced.    Don’t wait to be asked to help – contact me and say “What can I do to help.”

On a more personal note, let me take a moment to say that I will truly miss one of my best friends, Sharon Meador, who ran the office during collection week which allowed me to work alongside the collection center workers.  Sharon, you will be missed.

Last but certainly not least, please keep Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child in your prayers year round as they spread the gospel of Jesus to children around the world ONE SHOEBOX AT A TIME.

Time to Reach Out

by Debbie Vanaman

As the air turns a bit cooler and the leaves burst forth with magnificent color, it’s that time again to help spread the name of Jesus around the world through the power of a simple shoebox.  It’s been 15 years since we entered into a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse and the word of God has been shared with literally millions of children and their families through this ministry.

Our collection efforts have been great throughout the year and for that I am grateful.  Collection week this year is Nov. 14th through Nov. 18th and with your help we can make this year one of the best we’ve ever had.  I will be reaching out asking for volunteers to staff our collection center that week.  So don’t wait until I come for you – ask how you can help.

For the month of October we will be collecting small toys that will fit inside a shoebox –   a small ball, a doll, a jump rope, small cars and trucks are just a few examples.

And last but certainly not least please keep this program in your prayers as the word of God is continually spread throughout the world one shoebox at a time.

Summer is Over and School has Started Again

by Debbie Vanaman

It’s hard to believe that summer is over and school has started again.  2016 has certainly been a busy year here at FBC and the fall is going to be no exception.   We officially kicked off the shoebox 2016 season a few weeks ago with a presentation to recognize our 15 year participation with Samaritan’s Purse.  What an accomplishment.    Each year our total has topped the previous year and last year we hit an all time record of over 3,000 shoeboxes coming into our relay center from churches and organizations in the Raleigh and Fayette County area.  Praise God for all of those children who will receive the word of God, some for the first time.

Our ladies here at FBC have made some absolutely adorable teddy bears which will be going in our shoeboxes that we pack in November.  Thanks to all of you – you did an awesome job.   Our collection of items has been going strong all year but we need to do one final push in the September and October months so we can have enough items to fill the shoeboxes that the youth will be doing in November.   Our goal was to make 125 shoeboxes and your help in reaching this goal would be greatly appreciated.

For September we will be collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste & hair brushes

Finally, please keep the shoebox program as well as the entire Samaritan’s Purse organization in your prayers.  Samaritan’s Purse has been a huge help with relief efforts right here in West Virginia after the June floods and this is something that they travel around the country doing each time there is a disaster.   So it’s not just about shoeboxes – it’s about spreading God’s word and helping in a time of need.  Speaking of help – please keep collection week which is Nov. 14th to Nov. 18th open – I will be calling for help in our relay center.

Heat, humidity and…Christmas?

by Debbie Vanaman

It’s hard to think about Christmas when the temperatures are up in the 90’s and the humidity is unbearable but that’s just what we need to do. Children around the world receive these shoeboxes not just at Christmas time but all throughout the year and your contributions will go a long way towards making a child’s life just a little bit better.  Your response so far has been nothing short of over-whelming and for that I thank you.

For the months of July and August we will be collecting school supplies such as pens, pencils, markers, crayons and small note pads and coloring books (emphasis on the word small please).  Collection boxes for these items are located in the Welcome Center and also in Fellowship Hall.  Also if you have any extra empty shoeboxes, they are needed as well and can be left in the church office. 

Collection week this year is November 14th  through November 21st.   Please mark these dates in your calendar as I will need lots and lots of help during that week.  As I always ask you, please continue to keep this program in your prayers as shoeboxes are distributed to children around the world helping to spread the name of Jesus Christ.

Operation Christmas Child June Update

by Debbie Vanaman

First of all, let me thank you once again for the outpouring of support that has been shown so far this year.  So far I have five plastic tubs full of items for our shoeboxes and the year is not quite half over.  So again thanks so much.

We are so blessed here in Beckley and these blessings are being shared with children around the world as Samaritan’s Purse continues to deliver shoeboxes to children in all parts of the world and you are a part of those blessings.  You will never know how your shoebox will impact a child, a family and possibly an entire village by sharing the contents of those boxes as well as the message of Jesus Christ.

For the month of June, you are asked to bring bars of soap, washcloths, combs and hairbrushes.  These items can be left in the collection boxes that are located in the Welcome Center and also in Fellowship Hall.

Please keep this program in your prayers throughout the year as children are receiving these boxes around the world.

Operation Christmas Child 2016

by Debbie Vanaman

First of all, let me thank each and every one of you for your support of our shoe box ministry so far.  Your response has been overwhelming.   Thanks also to the ladies (and gentlemen) who are helping with our teddy bear project.  Just imagine a child opening up their shoe box and finding a hand-made bear made just for them.  Our ABW ladies will be stuffing the bears which haven’t been completed yet at their meeting in June.  So if you have bears already sewn together, just return it to the church office and the ladies will finish it up for you.

For the month of May, we will be collecting small toys such as dolls, cars, small flashlights with extra batteries, hand-held games, small balls and things of that nature.  Just remember it has to be small enough to fit in a shoe box with lots of other things. Donation boxes are in the Welcome Center and Fellowship Hall.

Please keep this program in your prayers year-round as shoe boxes are being distributed around the world to children who may for the first time hear the name of Jesus.

Remember my favorite saying – you can change the world through the power of a shoe box.

Off to a Fabulous Start

We are off to a fabulous start with our donations in January and February even considering the cold weather.  I know it seems that winter will never end but just remember spring (hopefully) is just around the corner.

Some facts and figures for you to ponder as you do your shoeboxes this year.  Last year here in the U.S. over 8.7 million shoeboxes were collected.  That total worldwide went a little over 11 million which was a seven percent increase from last year.  What a blessing those children will be receiving this year as those shoeboxes filled with all kinds of goodies are distributed around the world.  But it doesn’t stop there.  The goal for the U.S. for 2016 is 9.5 million shoeboxes and the only way that can be accomplished is one shoebox at a time and that’s where you come in.

For the month of March we will be collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste and girls hairbrushes.  Collection boxes are located in Fellowship Hall and in the Welcome Center.

Please keep this project in your prayers as shoeboxes are being distributed around the world all throughout the year and always remember you can change a child’s life through the power of a shoebox.

Operation Christmas Child 2016

First of all let me thank you for your support of our shoebox ministry during the month of January.  It’s a great start but we need to keep the ball rolling.

For the month of February we will be collecting pens, pencils, crayons, coloring books & small note pads (emphasis on the word small).

Collection boxes are in the Welcome Center and also in Fellowship Hall.  Also if you have any empty shoeboxes, I can always use them and they can be left in the church office.  Last but certainly not least, please keep this program in your prayers through this year as shoeboxes are distributed around the world and the name of Jesus is brought to towns and villages around the world.

Operation Christmas Child 2016

by Debbie Vanaman

No, you’re not seeing things.   It’s a new year and I’ve decided to change things up a bit this year for Operation Christmas Child.    We’re going to start this month and each month until October we will be collecting different items for our shoebox program.  Then in November the youth will separate what we’ve collected and start filling our shoeboxes.  This way it kind of spreads things out a bit and I hope it will increase our number of shoeboxes with the end result will be blessings for even more children.

For the month of January we will be collecting combs, bars of soap and washcloths.

Collection boxes are in the sanctuary and also in Fellowship Hall.  Also if you have any empty shoeboxes, I can always use them and they can be left in the church office.  Last but certainly not least, please keep this program in your prayers through this year as shoeboxes are distributed around the world and the name of Jesus is brought to villages, towns and cities through the power of a simple shoebox.

FYI – We received an email that some of the shoeboxes from FBC will be going to India, Ghana and Burundi.

The Final Operation Christmas Child Report for 2015

by Debbie Vanaman

When all was said and done, our relay center had a record year.  With the state of the economy here in Southern West Virginia, I expected our numbers to be somewhat down from last year’s total of 2,958 which incidentally was all-time high for our relay. Well, that was so not true. The total number of shoeboxes collected from churches, schools, businesses and individuals was 3,103 shoeboxes!                                                                   

Yep, that’s right. It was up, and up quite a bit.  But it would not run as smoothly as it did without the help of a great group of volunteers who manned “Shoebox Center” in the Welcome Center that week.  You guys and gals were great.  And let’s not forget the Saturday morning loading crew who loaded 185 cartons in under an hour.  A truly awesome task.

As the time creeps ever closer to Christmas Day, just remember children around the world who during the coming months will receive a shoebox filled with a toy or a stuffed animal, pencils, crayons and other personal items.  Some of these children have never received a gift before and imagine the looks on their faces when those boxes are opened and these items are shared.  They also will receive a booklet called “The Greatest Journey” which tells them about Jesus and how they can accept Jesus into their heart.

Just remember – it all starts with one shoebox and you can help change the world one shoebox at a time. Stay tuned for some shoebox changes in 2016.