Operation Christmas Child in full swing

Steve Metheny right holds down an Operation Christmas Child box lid Monday as Evan Frees tapes it shut at Emmanuel Baptist Church while Bill Holbert center watches. Emmanuel Baptist Church on 23rd Street is one of three Parkersburg drop-off locations

Operation Christmas Child in full swing

The closest drop-off location to Malibu is Gateway Church in Agoura Hills. More than 150,000 volunteers including families, churches and other groups are joining forces to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind, according to Samaritan's Purse.

Operation Christmas Child exists "to show God's love through a simple message of a shoebox", Huffman said. It's a temporary view for students as the school is one of the drop-off sites for the national campaign "Operation Christmas Child".

The program, which was started by the charity Samaritan's Purse in 1993, collects shoe boxes full of small gifts to send overseas.

Throughout the eight counties that Parker-Moore serves, there are 11 drop-off locations.

The Samaritan's Purse project will deliver the gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and starvation.

A world map hanging in Carrier's vehicle garage represents the many mission locations he has reached through his artwork ministry, in addition to those he prepares for the Operation Christmas Child gift boxes.

"The first distribution site, I just cried", she said.

Boxes fill the hallways of Grace Community High School.

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"My goal would just be.I can't even tell you. They haven't been able to collect enough boxes in the 30 years they've been doing this". They will not know where this year's collection goes until the spring.

"She was so happy because she could now use her money for food", Klosterbuer said.

"I was in the service, so there's always a competitive nature there", Robert Johnson said. Gifts are needed for children ages 2 to 14.

"We really want to encourage other organizations to come to us and ask questions like how to get involved", Thompson said.

Finstad said the bulk of the items are purchased with donations from members of the congregation and the community, as well as with funds donated by Thrivent Financial.

"You can let your imagination run", Sheila said. Perhaps it's a doll for a little girl, a teddy bear for a young child, or a soccer ball or football for an older child.

Huerta encouraged volunteers to donate school supplies. So, they're receiving school supplies and hygiene products. Please join us wherever you are for a moment of prayer for Operation Christmas Child on that Monday. "But if you would like to include a toothbrush, a bar of soap, pencils, markers, a notebook or crayons, you can". For more information, contact Hannah Story at 870-299-0261.

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