Help make Christmas special for a needy child

Published 11:09 am Thursday, November 17, 2016

The idea behind Operation Christmas Child is simple: shoeboxes full of gifts are sent to millions of needy children around the world. That alone makes the effort worthy, but the boxes contain something more valuable than any toy. The boxes also share the story of Jesus with those children.

The group’s goal is to reach 12 million children this year. In Lincoln County, thousands of boxes will be packed and shipped out to a processing center.

Throughout the week, anyone can donate shoeboxes—filled with school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and fun toys, such as a doll or soccer ball—for Operation Christmas Child to deliver to children in need around the world.

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“The shoebox gifts donated throughout the country at drop-off locations will shine a light of hope to children living in poverty overseas,” said Randy Riddle, director of Operation Christmas Child in the United States. “Anyone is welcome to pack a shoebox and help a child facing difficult circumstances to feel loved and not forgotten.”

Even though the week is almost over, it’s not too late to pack a box. Volunteers at First Baptist will be at the church through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to accept the boxes. They’ll also be taking boxes Sunday until noon.

“This one box can impact a child, this child’s family, this child’s community,” volunteer Connie Hodges said. “One little box can have a ripple effect.”

She said lots of families fill boxes together and present to the church on a designated Sunday.

“It’s a good teaching opportunity for your children,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to teach your children about giving and showing them how blessed they really are.”

And it’s a great way to make Christmas special for a needy child.