Operation Christmas Child in Arcanum


By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

One simple shoebox can change a child’s life for all eternity. Have you heard of Operation Christmas Child? OCC is a project through Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization led by Franklin Graham. Samaritan’s Purse has collected shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children around the world. Since 1993, more than 209 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love. Multiple Arcanum churches as well as LifeWise Academy are participating in this program this year. There is a donation box at the Arcanum Public Library if you would like to donate to the filling of one of these shoeboxes.

How did OCC start? In the summer of 1993, Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham (son of the late Billy Graham) received a call from a man in England asking if he would be willing to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in Eastern Europe. Franklin agreed, but figured Christmas was months away. He forgot about the promise until he received a call back around Thanksgiving asking about the gifts.

Franklin asked his friend, the late Pastor Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte, North Carolina to see if he could help with the need. A Sunday shortly afterward, Pastor Rhoads demonstrated for his congregation how to fill a shoebox with simple gifts and encouraged them to include a letter to the child as well. Within weeks, the church had 11,000 shoeboxes lining their hallways.

Due to their generosity and additional gifts from Canada, Samaritan’s Purse sent 28,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Balkans that Christmas. Through these gifts, they communicated to children and their families what the angel said to the shepherds about Jesus’ birth: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10, ESV).

Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society will once again host their fabulous Christmas Bazaar on the evening of November 24th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, November 25th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They feature gently used Christmas decorations, trees, wreaths along with homemade goodies to purchase. Be sure to save the date, share the event and bring along a friend for their Black Friday Christmas deals! They appreciate the community’s ongoing support of their organization. The funds raised will be used to help with expenses of the organization and to continue their ongoing historical programs and events. The AWTHS is located at 123 West George Street, Arcanum. Please check out their Facebook page for any last-minute updates.

Do not forget to book the AWTHS facility rental for your Christmas dinner or party. Please contact Sharon Troutwine 937/692-5128 or Carolyn Furlong 937-417-2966. The facility is unavailable in the last part of November due to the setting and cleaning up for the Christmas Bazaar November 24 and 25.

The Arcanum Alumni Association Advisory Committee is pleased to announce they will again award five $1500 scholarships as well as the second annual Pay It Forward Scholarship of $1500 to members of the class of 2024. Donations are currently being sought from the alumni database for the funds to award these scholarships. Applications are available from the school guidance counselor.

When you donate, funding for scholarship programs allows hardworking and deserving students to manage their costs while continuing their education in a high-quality setting. Not only are you investing in the students when you donate to your alma mater, but you also create a legacy for the generations to come. all donors at the annual event next spring in our program and on the new Facebook group page, Arcanum Alumni Association.

If you have any questions, you may contact our Treasurer, Denise Swabb or the Chairperson, Vickie Rhodehamel at [email protected]. Please mail your donation to Denise Swabb, Treasurer, Arcanum Alumni Association, 2011 Trojan Avenue, Arcanum, Ohio 45304. To date, the Arcanum, Alumni Scholarship fund has provided scholarships and student support worth over $186,000 to 182 promising AHS graduates who demonstrated financial need, academic promise, and community involvement since 1966.

“The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully.” — Henry Rollins

“In November you begin to know how long the winter will be.” — Martha Gellhorn

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