February 29th, 2024

boune thorneROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times


It’s mid-July, and with temperatures in the 90s and often crossing the century mark, thoughts of a white Christmas are seemingly months away.

For the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, the kickoff to the holiday season will soon already be in gear.

An international Christian relief organization, OCC delivers gift-filled shoeboxes to millions of children in need each year.

Locally, the normal kickoff for the annual OCC shoebox campaign does not take place until September, when people are more likely to be thinking about the season of giving, but this year, a recipient of one of the shoeboxes handed out by volunteers will be in Liberal to speak later this month.

Boun Thorne, who received a shoebox gift when she was a child, will be at Liberal’s First Southern Baptist Church Saturday, July 28, to share how the gift changed her life.

Thorne received an OCC shoebox gift while living in Cambodia, and this simple gift was so much more than just a box filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items. It was a powerful reminder that God loved her and she was not forgotten.

Thorne is now passionate about sharing the same hope with millions of boys and girls affected by poverty, natural disaster, war, terror, disease and famine throughout the world.

Thorne is encouraging the community to give back. This year, Liberal volunteers hope to collect more than 1,230 shoeboxes packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items to contribute towards the global goal of reaching 11 million children. OCC’s National Collection Week is scheduled to take place Nov. 12-19 in communities across the country.

The public is invited to hear Thorne speak at a Countdown Event for OCC July 28 at 10 a.m. at FSBC at 621 N. Western Ave. in Liberal. Attendees will also receive free supplies and information on how they can become involved in OCC.

Additionally, they will hear from a student who distributed gift filled shoeboxes in the Philippines this summer with Samaritan’s Purse.

For more information, contact Tamra Clawson, volunteer area coordinator with OCC, at 620-482-3305.