Local Donation Of Beanie Babies Will Cheer Children Around World

Love and caring can be seen in many different forms. One of the ways in Sidney is sharing the joy that Beanie Babies can bring to children all across the world.

For many years, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Sidney, has served as the Operation Christmas Child collection point for northeastern Montana and western North Dakota. Operation Christmas Child, through Samaritan's Purse, sends gift shoe boxes to needy children around the world. The boxes contain toys, school supplies and hygiene items.

Karen Huskamp, SVLC Vacation Bible School leader, explains what really makes the items stand out is when a "wow" gift is included. She said that a Beanie Baby is the perfect size gift that make the children feel special.

A Sidney family recently made sure that SVLC had plenty of Beanie Babies to share. When the Palmer and Doris Norby family held a garage sale, their backyard was covered with bags of Beanie Babies for sale. After Pastor David Huskamp discussed Operation Christmas Child with a family member, the Norby member was excited to donate 3,550 Beanie Babies for the project.

David said that a family member expressed that Doris Norby wanted the stuffed items to be given to children.

"They will go to a child in an impoverished or war-torn country," Karen said.

Last year, the SVLC collection site sent a total of 3,200 shoe boxes out. Some of the boxes prepared locally are organized by SVLC's youth education students.

"The children embrace doing shoe boxes because it's hands-on," Karen said. "It's been meaningful to them."

She added that she tries to explain to local students that these children don't have any other toys except the one that they are sending. "I think it's great ministry. It's kid to kid," Karen said.

The Huskamps are very thankful for the donation from the Norby family. "It made it possible to do a lot more boxes," Karen said.

Other items needed to be donated for the shoe boxes include school supplies, small toys, tooth brushes, combs and wash cloths. Older children, ages 10-14, receive soccer balls as gifts.

Later this month, Karen will take a "vision trip" to Peru in order to witness first hand the impact that the gifts make to children. She plans to share her experiences on June 5, as part of the church's Vacation Bible School.

 

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