Perhaps you've already heard of the Shoebox Ministry also known as Operation Christmas Child sponsored by Samaritans Purse, started and organized by Franklin Graham. You can check it out by going to this link:
This ministry involves collecting and sending items to children--some in this country and others across the world--and putting the items in a shoebox. You may ask: why talk about this now? Christmas is long gone.
Our church has participated in this ministry for about 4 years. The main reason is that this ministry ignited passion in one of our members. The first year our church did do this shortly before Christmas and we completed about 50 boxes. This past year our church member started earlier and we sent over 180 boxes. Someone even donated a large amount of money for soccer balls, and we found a way to package them too. Now it's a year-round effort. Kids not only receive toys, tooth bushes, flashlights with extra batteries, but Samaritans Purse also sends materials to teach kids about the love of Christ. The boxes from our church are just now headed toward their destination. Kids will receive them in March.
Sure it feels good to send something tangible to children in need, but this ministry has also helped create a spirit of generosity in our church and helped motivate and inspire our kids, even the very young children. Before the boxes are completed, a person writes a note to the child who will receive the box, then each box is prayed over. There are just so many stories of how our children have written and prayed for kids they'll never even meet. Sometimes the child receiving the box responds with a written thank-you. These letters are great gifts for our children.
If you are looking for a way to get your church involved in outreach, this is a simply way to start. The benefits will extend far beyond what you'll believe possible.