Organization helps with volunteers with Operation Christmas Child

Thanks to Operation Christmas Child, kids affected by war, poverty, famine, disease, natural disaster and other calamities around the world know they haven’t been forgotten at the holidays when they receive a shoebox brimming with welcome gifts.

And the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources helps by providing Operation Christmas Child volunteers have access to a variety of toys, clothing, school supplies, hygiene items and other essentials to fill up those shoeboxes.

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, a faith-based international relief organization in Boone, North Carolina. Nelson Randolph coordinates Operation Christmas Child out of his church, Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which has been a member of NAEIR since 2007. Qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofits can join NAEIR for as little as $59 a year.

Each year, hundreds of companies make in-kind donations of overstocks, returns, seasonal and other excess inventory to NAEIR, which manages a 450,000-square-foot warehouse in Galesburg, Illinois. From there, it ships merchandise to member nonprofits at no cost, just a nominal handling fee.

“NAEIR is an incredible source of low-cost items for our ministry,” Nelson says. “While their inventory is always changing, they always seem to have items that are useful to us. Over the years I have obtained clothing items such as hats, shirts, socks and gloves; school supplies such as pencils, pens, rulers, protractors, erasers and crayons; and small toys such as balls and plastic rings

“Our ministry would only be half as successful without the NAEIR membership.”

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 209 million children in more than 170 countries, territories and Native American reservations in the U.S. Each box is prepared for either boys or girls in three age ranges, 2 to 4, 5 to 9 and 10 to 14. Nelson says many of the children receiving the boxes have never received a gift before, ever.

In addition to volunteering with Operation Christmas Child, Nelson has been able to send NAEIR items all over the world. Examples include a large generator to Venezuela, two shipping containers of supplies to the Ukraine, clothing and toiletries to a refuge center in Greece and other items to Bolivia, Morocco, Mexico, Armenia, Honduras and more.

Gary C. Smith, CEO of NAEIR, says he’s proud of the impact his organization has had on nonprofits such as Operation Christmas Child and volunteer efforts like Nelson’s for nearly 50 years.

“We say NAEIR is in the business of empowering generosity,” he says. “That’s true of our donor companies, but it’s especially true of the organizations that use our merchandise to serve their local communities or to minister to those in need around the world.”

NAEIR, founded in 1977, is the oldest in-kind giving organization in America, serving over 100,000 members across the country. Members must be affiliated with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, school or church to qualify for NAEIR membership. This includes groups like charities, community organizations, government institutions, health facilities, retirement homes and more. NAEIR offers different membership options to accommodate organizations of all sizes and budgets.

To learn more about becoming an NAEIR member, visit the website, call (800) 562-0955 or email

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