Christian Retailing

Parable store owner helps distribute Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 03 February 2014 01:17 PM America/New_York

LauraClark-webThe Parable Group continued its support of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) with a distribution of Christmas shoeboxes in Barranquilla, Colombia last week. Parable Group Marketing Specialist Laura Clark, store owner Sam Walker and 70 others from across the United States handed out shoeboxes to children living in poverty. They also were to meet with the national OCC volunteer team and observe how “The Greatest Journey,” the discipleship program used to help children become followers of Christ, is taught.

The Parable Group has ministered alongside Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child for more than seven years.

"The Parable Group and the partner stores we serve are honored to support Operation Christmas Child," said Steve Potratz, president of The Parable Group. "Samaritan's Purse is sharing the gospel with children all around the world, and we are thrilled to have employees and store owners see first-hand what all those efforts look like in the eyes of children receiving shoeboxes in Barranquilla, Colombia.”

Recognizing the long-term impact of employees going on distribution trips, Parable organized efforts to allow store owners to aid in the delivery of shoeboxes this year. Walker of Sonlight Books...A Parable Christian Store from Sheboygan, Wis., is the first owner from the Parable family of partner stores to attend, earning the opportunity as first runner-up in the Attend-a-Distribution-Trip-With-Operation-Christmas-Child contest that ran during the Christmas season. First-place winners Mary and Louis Schaap from Sounds of Light in Adrian, Mich., had to back out when Louis needed time to recover from surgery.

Applicant stores submitted photos and earned virtual tokens for their local OCC efforts. Virtual tokens were earned by a variety of efforts, such as creating in-store displays, contacting churches, partnering with local OCC area coordinators, ordering Hygiene-in-a-Bottle kits from Oodles World, posting on social media, and hosting a shoebox packing party. The winner and runner-up were drawn from a pool of more than 3,000 tokens.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of the Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is the world’s largest Christmas project.