Local volunteers with Operation Christmas Child prepared their first shipment of 1,076 shoeboxes, in 65 cartons on the truck, Nov. 18.
“We get the use of the truck from Ray Statler every year and we appreciate it,” Sharon Settle relay center coordinator said thankfully.
The holiday charity program sends gifts to needy children abroad, yearly. The current goal is 11 million shoeboxes for the whole international program, according to Settle.
“Last year’s goal was over 10 million and we met that,” Sharon said.
Gift drop-offs were last week, at First Baptist Church in Fredericktown.
Gifts are taken to strategically situated relay points within the U.S. before before being put onto an airplane to fly them to other countries. There were several destination countries listed last year including Cameroon, Ecuador, Honduras, Northern Iraq, Republic of Georgia, and Uganda.
“I believe our gifts are going to Mexico this year,” Sharon said.
The charity program is under the auspices of Samaritan’s Purse which is an International Relief Organization. The Special Report: Operation Christmas Child is a recent publication which gives an outline from Samaritan Purse President Franklin Graham. Graham says the gifts give the children a great deal of joy and allow people in the affiliated churches to share the Gospel with them.
More information about Operation Christmas Child can be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Traci M. Black is a reporter for the Democrat News and can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at email@example.com.