A young girl let God use her to give 10,000 shoe boxes full of Christmas goodies to children in need.
Evilyn Pinnow of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin was 6 years of age and knew that God was calling her to pray for children in poverty.
Two years later she got the answer to her prayer when her Sunday School teacher gave her an Operation Christmas Child brochure.
Evilyn formed a club which helped pack shoe boxes throughout the year at age 8. The humble endeavor which began at her home, had to move to her church as it grew so big.
Evilyn and others in the club packed the boxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and a handwritten note, sharing the word of God with kids around the world.
She says, “My wildest dream for the shoe box club was that we’d maybe pack 100 shoe boxes each year but look what God has done,” the 19-year-old college student said. “We’re now celebrating the 10,000th shoe box packed by the shoe box club.
Modestly she adds that it had very little to do with her and more to do with God’s blessing and her amazing church family. She was chosen in 2012, as the ambassador for Operation Christmas Child, where she had to personally deliver the 100 millionth shoe box gift to a girl named Brenda, who was abandoned by her mom as a baby, in the Dominican Republic.
She wrote, “Hi. My name is Evilyn and I’m 12-years-old,” she wrote on the note accompanying the shoe box. “I know we live far apart, but will you be my friend? I hope you enjoy the gifts, and that you understand the true meaning of gift-giving—Jesus, the ultimate gift. I want you to know that I love you, and that God loves you. He sings and dances over you. He and his angels rejoice over your every move. I wish you well as you journey through life. Love, Evilyn.”
She started including a handwritten letter in every shoe box since, spending approximately 75 hours writing 300 letters to children around the world.
“I am so grateful for Evilyn,” Franklin Graham said. “She is just one girl but she has now touched the lives of 10,000 children. Just look where people like Evilyn have taken Operation Christmas Child. They’ve taken these gifts of love to more than 165 countries around the world and I am so grateful for that.”
The ministry began in 1993 after Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, was asked if he could help send presents to children in war-torn Bosnia. Since then, more than 168 million shoe box gifts have been collected for children in over 160 countries and territories.
“I love seeing children receive shoe box gifts,” Graham added, saying they expect 11 million shoe boxes this year. “There is so much excitement and joy. You can hear the kids giggling and shrieking. For many children, this is the first gift they’ve ever been given. It’s precious to watch how God uses a gift to open the hearts of children.”
We really appreciate all that Evilyn has done by spreading love and doing acts of kindness to the underprivileged and homeless people around the world, she has laid a beautiful example to all the young ones out there who can follow in her footsteps.