Despite finishing my bachelor's degree from a very respected university, I have quit all my paying jobs to be a full time volunteer. I am currently volunteering for an organization called Operation Christmas Child. Some people refer to them as the "shoebox ministry." And that is a fair nickname. OCC is a part of Samaritan's Purse and, ultimately, is in the business of getting the gospel of Jesus out to the world. OCC specifically collects shoe boxes filled with small toys, basic clothing, school and hygiene items and sends them to kids around the world who have literally nothing. The Gospel is given to every child who receives a shoebox, but these gifts are not simply to save the souls. Simple items like a toothbrush can help limit the passing of AIDS in Africa from sharing one within a family. Providing school supplies makes it possible for these kids to go to school when the schools can not provide anything besides the teacher (no books, no pencils or paper…nothing). Children will sell themselves for a single piece of candy because they have nothing and this simple box provides them with all of these things. It offers hope and a future where there was none before. It tells some children who have only ever been told that they are worthless, that someone who doesn't even know them loves them simply because they are a child of God and a living being. It is light in the darkest places of the world and I can only pray that my involvement can help to change their lives for the better, even in the slightest bit.
My specific contribution (besides packing my own set of boxes which ANYONE of ANY AGE can do for very little cost) is a connection to the community. I get in touch with different franchises (such as Chick-fil-A) and organizations (like Boy Scout troops or Kiwanas) and ask them to get involved. I encourage them to host packing parties or be a drop off location so more people can pack more boxes with the greatest convenience. It is about reaching as many kids as possible and the more people I reach in my community, the more boxes we have to touch each child's life around the globe. I simply offer my life.