Operation Christmas Child is a program that sends shoe boxes of toys, hygiene items, and school supplies to children all over the world, with an opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ.
New Hope Community Church is a collection center, gathering thousands of boxes in November that go to children in need. Last year they reached nearly 7,000 boxes from East Central Minnesota. They have drop off locations in Mora, Milaca, North Branch, Pine City and Siren that bring boxes to their Collection Center.
This July, they are privileged to have a “Full Circle Speaker” come to the area. Full Circle Speakers are people who have received a shoe box as a child, and now travel to tell their story about what that box meant to them, both emotionally and spiritually.
The community is invited to attend any of these upcoming events for an opportunity to meet with Operation Christmas Child Full Circle Speaker Mariya Snizhko.
• New Hope Community Church Cambridge Continental Breakfast, 10 a.m. on July 29, 33030 Vickers St. NE, Cambridge. Join for refreshments and hear Mariya’s story. RSVP by July 27 to 320-209-1274 or email [email protected]
• New Hope Community Church Cambridge, 8:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. July 30 services, 33030 Vickers St. NE, Cambridge.
• New Hope Community Church Isanti Campus, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. July 30 services, 114 Dahlin Ave. NE, Isanti.
• Fundraiser at Culver’s in Cambridge from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 30. Mariya will be there from noon to 2 p.m. Twenty percent of all dine-in and drive-through will be donated for shoebox expenses.
About Mariya Snizhko
Mariya Snizhko was born in Ukraine and raised by Christian parents. When the Soviet Union fell, Ukraine was in dire financial instability.
Even though her parents worked very hard, they rarely got paid. The family of eight lived in a one-room apartment with only the bare necessities.
In 2002, Mariya received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. Her favorite items were colored pencils, markers and crayons, which fueled her creativity and her enthusiasm for art. The gift strengthened her faith and trust in God because when her family least expected it, the gift came to them filled with items that they needed. It was a tangible experience of watching God care and provide for His children.
Mariya and her family moved to the United States when she was 12-years-old. Three years later, her youth leader brought empty Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for her youth group to pack. She recognized the box and has been packing shoeboxes since.