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Africa trip inspires comedian to use Sponsor Me to raise funds for The Greatest Journey

Leland Klassen admits he was like many other Canadians who believe Operation Christmas Child is solely about providing gift-filled shoeboxes to children in need. The Christian comedian learned otherwise when he went on a Samaritan’s Purse trip to the African nation of Senegal.

While there, Leland helped distribute shoeboxes. But he also experienced The Greatest Journey, Samaritan’s Purse’s 12-lesson evangelism and discipleship program. Whenever possible, we offer the program through our local church partners to children after they receive their shoeboxes.

“Once I saw The Greatest Journey in action and the results amongst the kids there, that’s when I realized how important it is,” said the 46-year-old British Columbia resident.

Knowing that in many countries, children will never have the opportunity to graduate from school or anything else, we work through our church partners to create graduation ceremonies for every child who completes the 12 Greatest Journey lessons.

“I went to a couple of graduations and so many of these kids had committed their lives to Christ,” Leland said. “When you see that kind of eternal change, and not only some pretty cool gifts, that took this ministry to a whole other level of importance.”

Leland was so moved by how God used The Greatest Journey in Senegal that when he returned to Canada, he approached Samaritan’s Purse and asked how he could contribute to the program.

We gladly pointed him to Sponsor Me, a Samaritan’s Purse website feature that enables people to support campaigns for their favorite Samaritan’s Purse projects, or start their own fundraising campaign.

Using is easy. Create an account, then browse the webpages for campaigns you want to financially support. You can also start your own campaign to raise funds for your favorite ministry, or to offset the costs of going on a Samaritan’s Purse mission trip. has lots of ideas about potential fundraising events, and helpful tips to make your event a success.

Once you’ve created your campaign and written text explaining why your Samaritan’s Purse project is so important to you, it’s easy to publicize your campaign through social media. The campaign webpage has buttons to put links on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

You can also copy and paste the campaign webpage address into an email to friends, family members, school mates or work colleagues. Supporters can use the link to go to your campaign page and easily make a tax-deductible donation directly to the project you’re supporting or the trip you’re going on.

“I’m not a technical kind of guy, but this was really easy to set up and operate,” Leland said. “That was a pleasant surprise.”

After he’d set up his campaign, Leland publicized it during several Ontario shows. Even without putting links on social media, he was able to raise almost all of his $2,000 fundraising goal.

“If others are thinking of using to fundraise for their favorite Samaritan’s Purse projects, I’d say absolutely,” Leland said. “It’s a no-brainer for a good cause.”

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