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Operation Christmas Child Through the Years

Dave and Bev Douglas

Steve Bishop

The people of Robson Ranch are very generous and caring. One way they have shown their love for others is through Operation Christmas Child (OCC). OCC is an arm of Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Every year since the 1990s, people from 15 nations pack Christmas shoe boxes with items for children ages 4 to 14. Since then, OCC has delivered 157 million boxes to children in 160 countries. Originally, people packed their gifts in shoe boxes. Now, most boxes are manufactured specifically for this purpose. The shoe boxes go into master packs for shipping. Having uniform boxes makes shipping more efficient.

Thirteen years ago, Dave and Bev Douglas, a Robson Ranch couple, introduced Operation Christmas Child to our community. Initially the couple enlisted some friends and purchased toys, games, sports items, hygiene items, school supplies, and clothing. Then the couple hosted a “packing party” in their home. After several years of packing 200 to 300 boxes, they took their party to the Laredo Room in the clubhouse—the result was 700 boxes! The next year, the party was held in the Hermosa Ballroom where it has been held ever since. Their commitment to the OCC grew. Dave and Bev were always looking for bargains/sales in area stores or wherever they were traveling. They made special trips to the toy district in Los Angeles. They enlisted more people who helped in buying, financing, and organizing the event. Even COVID-19 did not stop the couple from continuing with their ministry. By limiting the number of “packers,” medical testing, holding two packing sessions, and social distancing, a successful party was held in 2020. Dave and Bev’s last packing party in 2021 was their most successful—more than 3,000 boxes were filled!

In December 2021, Dave and Bev moved to South Carolina. Luckily new leadership stepped into their huge shoes. Rock Springs Church, which had for a number of years supported OCC with promotion and financial support, assumed the organization for 2022. With the increased financial support of the church, a committee has purchased items for the shoe boxes, found storage, set goals, and are organizing the packing party for this November.

Next month you can look for a follow-up article on how you can participate and contribute to Operation Christmas Child 2022.