HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. — The Community Church in Harrington Park is filling boxes with presents and prayers for children they'll never know.
"It's to give (donors) a sense of how much a $25 gift can give a sense of joy," said Allysandra Murphy, a missions outreach coordinator at the church.
The parish is in the middle of National Collections Week for Operation Christmas Child and it is starting to stack dozens of shoeboxes from now through Nov. 23 with goods.
Participants can decorate a simple box, choose if they are donating to a young boy or girl between the ages of 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14 and then add gifts.
They are encouraged to fill them with one special item add necessities, such as school materials or personal hygiene products, and then pray for the recipient.
"It helps to underscore for kids here when they are getting involved in these projects how lucky they are and engage with them in conversation how other people in the world don't have soap or a toothbrush," Murphy said.
Donors can then track packages after dropping them off at designated locations.
Operation Christmas Child is organized by Samaritan’s Purse, a non-denominational evangelical Christian organization with a mission to provide spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.
Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine.
"There is hope when someone way across the world cares, no matter what that person's life situation," Murphy said. "It is pretty powerful."
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