By Kevin Kindelin
This article was originally posted on 2/01/17 and has been updated.

january items hats gloves & scarves

Buy an item each month to create a shoebox that will delight a child at Christmas. January’s ted items are hats gloves & scarves.

It looks like Christmas season is over. No more decorations. No more lights. No more Christmas cheer! You may like winter, but to me, without the joyous festivities of Christmas it’s just, well, winter. Sure, I’ll concede there’s some fun that can be derived from snow and ice, but there’s only so much you can do before you have to get inside and get warm. My point is that I, like most of us, complain about things we can’t control. We’re never satisfied with God’s abundant blessings. Now imagine you never even knew what Christmas was. Imagine being to the point of starvation when miraculously you were able to catch a few fish with your hands to feed your family for a day, that day being Christmas. But you didn’t know it was Christmas; you only knew you were exhausted from the effort but at least your family’s bellies didn’t hurt that day.

Now imagine you were a young child and that burden was upon your shoulders. Imagine being a child in a third world country who never knew the love of Christ, only the day to day drudgery of survival. This is where we at Immanuel stepped up to plant the seed of Christ’s love in the hearts of these children. Immanuel continues its partnership with Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization dedicated to providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Last November, Immanuel‘s American Heritage Girls, Trail Life USA boys, Fifties Plus, and Thrivent ministries participated in a national challenge to pack boxes filled with presents such as toys, school supplies, toothbrushes, combs, personal letters, and a variety of other small sized gifts to these children. Along with their shoebox gift, children also received “The Greatest Gift,” a colorful presentation of the Gospel in their own language.

Volunteers pack Shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child at our 2017 Packing Party.

Immanuel will be working on Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes throughout 2018 and will be hosting another packing party on November 5th. You may not be able to be there to take part in packing the shoeboxes but you can participate by donating something to include in the shoeboxes. Items must be new. For a complete list of accepted items, please visit our Operation Christmas Child page. Donations may be dropped off at Immanuel at any time.

We haven’t even made it to Groundhog’s day, when we can choose whether to believe or not if the shadow, or lack thereof, of a dandified rodent determines the number of weeks remaining in winter. The renewed joy and hope that comes with the onset of spring seems so far off. Instead of complaining about it, be a part of a child’s next Christmas and future by planting the seed of the love of Jesus Christ. To find out more about how to participate and/or contribute, contact Trephina Bedell, Immanuel’s Children’s Ministries Coordinator, at or call the church office at 847-359-1549. Be a part of something greater than yourself. Be someone who plants a seed.