Operation Christmas Child Now Officially Underway

WWII veteran Reggie Peterson 92 readies boxes for Operation Christmas Child

Today, the local women are still gathering shoeboxes filled with gifts, but the range from which donations come has greatly multiplied.

This program benefits children across the globe who have been affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, starvation and disease.

Pierce has been the project leader for seven years and decided that setting a goal every year was holding the church back. "Radiant Life channeled almost 1,000 gifts from the area churches, civic organizations and individuals".

Franklin Graham, who heads the Samaritan's Purse ministry, presents an Operation Christmas Child box to a child during a trip to Asia.

Area residents will transform empty shoeboxes into gifts of hope filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys during Operation Christmas Child's national collection week November 13-20. "That is the major reason for doing Christmas shoe boxes". Wow items such as a doll, stuffed animal, harmonica are encouraged. "When filled, a rubber band can be placed on the box to secure the lid temporarily".

And so the project flourished with a larger number of boxes shipped each year.

In St. Paul, the boxes are opened and checked to be sure everything is acceptable and packaged well.

"They are so happy to share what they have", said Adams. "She said she had no idea that there was anything like this going on in our area". You can pack anything you would like, but you can't pack candy or toothpaste. In some regions, we are not permitted to distribute literature, but we are still grateful for the opportunity to bless the children with gift boxes carefully prepared by people who love children. She tells us the best things to pack in our boxes - the basic essentials like socks, underwear, a new shirt.

Martin says if you include an email address, you may even find out where your box ended up.

For those looking to get involved with Operation Christmas Child, Parker-Moore said the time is now as National Collection Week runs Monday, Nov. 13, through Monday, Nov. 20. It is a program of Samaritan's Purse.

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