Shoe-box greetings offer more than just a gift | NevadaAppeal.com

Shoe-box greetings offer more than just a gift

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Karie Maple was a bit apprehensive in taking on the project “Operation Christmas Child.”

But she wasn’t apprehensive about who she wanted to help.

With a simple collection of a few school supplies, hygiene products, a toy, hair clips and hard candy, a shoe box becomes a fascinating gift to a child who may not know what Christmas giving would be.

A member of Dayton Valley Community Church in Dayton, Maple, 32, is one-quarter on her way to the goal of 100 shoe boxes to go to poor children around the world.

She is getting help from her husband, Ian, and son, Noah, who is 4 years old.

“I wasn’t too sure about taking on a project like this, but my husband and I set up a plan of what we wanted to do,” Maple said. “We set our goal – 100 boxes by Nov. 4 – and have completed 25 so far.”

Maple is asking the community for help in the form of donations of school supplies, hair items for girls, combs or brushes, small toys and hygiene products. A person can also sponsor a shoe box for $20, and Maple will get the necessary items. Maple has received toothbrushes and toothpaste from Dr. Todd Gray and a monetary donation as well as shoe boxes from Target.

The boxes are designed to be for a boy or girl and specific age groups; 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14 years old.

“Many of these children (who receive a box) don’t feel loved, or valued or important,” Maple said. “And many of them are orphans. It’s very heart-breaking. There are literally millions of children and they are very young.”

Maple said she knows some of the feelings the children are experiencing.

“I grew up poor,” she said. “I didn’t have a lot and grew up in an abusive home. I never felt loved. A simple shoe box we throw in the trash after getting a new pair of shoes is valued to a child. They feel blessed with pencils and pens and a stuffed animal. It is something to cuddle and hold and it’s specifically for them. And, America is one of the countries these boxes reach.”

“These boxes are like gold to the children,” Ian Maple said. “When we’re in the dollar store, Noah sees toys and reminds us we can get them for the children. Some of the kids will write a letter and include a photo of themselves to go into the box. Then they have a pen pal. We’re trying to get more of our youth involved with the project.”

“I picked out the finger puppets and a classic car,” Noah said. “It’s a Camaro.”

“We try to get a fun gift as well as needed gifts,” Karie said. “Noah has also helped me wrap and tape the boxes.”

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse. Once Maple has boxes ready, she will ship them to Boone, N.C., where they are inspected and sent out to children around the world.

“They do add faith-based material into the box before they’re shipped,” Karie Maple said. “The material is printed in the country’s native language. They get a book called, ‘The Gospel Booklet,’ and follow-up programs and classes to teach them more about Jesus Christ.”

The cut-off date is Nov. 4. To make a donation, call the church and leave a message or send an e-mail to karie.dayton@ yahoo.com.

“My goal is to do this every year.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@ nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

Operation

Christmas Child

WHEN: Make donations before Nov. 4

SUGGESTED ITEMS: School supplies, crayons, erasers, stamp sets, coloring books, small toys, yo-yos, stuffed animals, comb, washcloths, mild bar soap, hard candy, flashlights with batteries, and a personal note in a separate envelope, or cash donation to church address

WHERE: Dayton Valley Community Church, ATTN: Shoe Box Ministry, P.O. Box 1746, Dayton, NV 89403; Pizza Factory, 185 Highway 50 East, Dayton; It’s Educational, 3790 Highway 395 South, No. 404, Carson City; Makin’ Coffee, 655 Highway 50 East, Dayton

CALL: 246-7167 (leave message)