Locals Spread Joy Through Operation Christmas Child

Maxine SotoNov 18, 2016

"The shoebox gifts donated by Ackerman volunteers at these drop-off locations will shine a light of hope to children living in poverty overseas", said regional leader Shelli Wishard. "We've done packing parties with our children's ministry and then we've had families just pack individual boxes". Click on "Pack a Shoebox/Follow Your Box Label".

Sun, Nov. 20: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The court case came in the official collection week for the shoeboxes, packed by children throughout the world with pens, colouring pencils, paper, small toys and other gifts for sending to countries in Africa and elsewhere.

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"There are some things that you can not pack such as war related items as many of these boxes will go to countries that have been devastated by war, and also, no liquids are allowed".

In nine years of involvement with Operation Christmas Child, Suzanne Coleman has heard plenty of stories of its positive impact.

Boxes can be dropped off at United First Methodist Church, 401 West Main Street, Richmond, and at Westside Baptist Church, 699 Prince Royal Drive, Berea. "There will be boxes for 2 to 4, 5 to 9 and 10 to 14-year-olds, depending on what gender and age group you would like to fill a box for".

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Gretna Campus Life offers programs for elementary, middle- and high-school students throughout the year and brought area churches in to help with this year's Operation Christmas Child project. Beyond the all-important evangelical side of the shoeboxes, it provides Christmas gifts to unfortunate children who may not receive anything.

Project coordinator Ellen Leetch explains how residents can properly prepare a shoebox in time for Operation Christmas Child.

Between now and Monday, donors and volunteers from across West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri will be transforming empty shoeboxes into "gifts of hope" filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys, such as dolls and soccer balls. They are looking beyond their own wish lists and donating gift-filled shoeboxes for boys and girls around the world. A requested $7 donation for each shoebox is used to help cover the cost of worldwide shipping and other project-related costs.

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"I have been doing it for 19 years", Patterson said.

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