GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Family Christian, the world's largest Christian-focused retailer, announced today that it is again partnering with Operation Christmas Child (OCC) to provide Christmas gift boxes to spread the Gospel in international communities. All 249 Family Christian locations in 36 states will serve as pickup points for consumers. During the 2016 Christmas season, Family Christian expects to well exceed the lifetime distribution of one million boxes.
Family Christian first paired with Operation Christmas Child in 2010 and approximately 979,000 boxes have been picked up to date by customers for children in need. Family Christian serves as a pick-up point for empty boxes for customers to stock with gifts, hygiene items and school supplies. Customers can also add a personal prayer and photo for the child who will receive their box.
The boxes are delivered to children internationally after an extensive review performed by OCC to ensure safe and quality products are included. While the boxes contain fun and exciting gifts for the children who would otherwise not have received any, the message behind the boxes plays a much stronger role. Along with the gifts, each box contains a message of encouragement and faith.
"The box contains so much more than just a Christmas gift," said Mike Bowles of Family Christian. "They are used as a vehicle for the local church to deliver the message of Jesus Christ to the community."
Each box delivery equips local pastors with the tools necessary to engage these children and their families in faith discussions, and in many cases introduces them to Jesus Christ for the first time. After receiving the box, children are invited to enroll in The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson discipleship program.
Boxes are available in Family Christian stores while supplies last.
About Family Christian
Located in the United States, Family Christian is the world's largest Christian-focused retailer. The nonprofit organization has approximately 250 stores in 36 states. The organization offers a variety of Christian-themed merchandise, including apparel, Active Faith athletic wear, Bibles, books, home decor, art, gifts, DVDs, kids' products and music. In addition to its physical stores, Family Christian provides consumers with access to all of these resources through www.familychristian.com, its eCommerce platform. When you shop with Family Christian, your purchases support efforts to unite with ministries that are helping children and families in need around the U.S. and the world. Learn more at http://www.familychristian.com/about.
About Operation Christmas Child
OCC is a program through Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. For over 40 years Samaritan's Purse has given aid to the world's poor, sick, and suffering. Operation Christmas Child was founded in 1990 and since 1993 has delivered more than 100 million shoe box gifts to children in 130 countries. Learn more at: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child
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SOURCE Family Christian