Shoebox of Life

November 25, 2013 Updated Nov 25, 2013 at 7:23 AM EDT

By WKBW News

November 25, 2013 Updated Nov 25, 2013 at 7:23 AM EDT


Williamsville, N.Y. (WKBW) - Pre-school students at the Wesleyan Church Eastern Hills are learning the meaning of giving this holiday season.
“So they can have toys like us,” Courtney Langworthy said.
It is part of a program that donates to millions of children across the world.
“This is Operation Christmas Child. It's a fundraiser run by Good Samaritan’s Purse. We have eight collection sites they collect boxes locally then they bring their boxes to Eastern Hills,” Eric Stellrecht with Samaritan’s Purse said.
Wesleyan Churches across Western New York are spearheading the drive but anyone can donate. The children receiving the gifts range in age from 5 to 14 and the group is asking for some very special items.
“Anybody can donate. What we encourage people to put in the boxes are school supplies, hygiene items, toothbrush, toothpaste. Toys like cars for the boys and little cuddly things are always welcome. Also, things like sandals or shoes,” Stellrecht said.
The boxes will then be shipped all over the world to children who need it most.
“It gives children who receive the boxes the gift of hope or love, especially if they are poverty stricken or war torn or orphan. It really encourages them and gives them the feeling that somebody loves them even if they don't know them,” Stellrecht said.
It not only helps the children getting the boxes but those who pack the gifts also learn a thing or too and feel good giving.
“Happy. Glad! Glad because I can help other kids,” Courtney Langworthy and Clara Zaepfle said.