Madison County residents are making a difference around the world by volunteering with the largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child. This project is a year-round effort that impacts millions of children in need.
Throughout the year, generous volunteers transform empty shoeboxes into gifts of hope filled with fun toys, basic school supplies and hygiene items. Gifts are collected during National Collection Week, Nov. 13 – 20, at First United Methodist Church in Richmond and at Westside Baptist Church in Berea. Operation Christmas Child delivers these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.
This year Madison County will join with other counties in Kentucky to contribute 267,840 shoebox gifts toward the 2017 global efforts of reaching 12 million children. If you are a volunteer who works with a shoebox packing project in your church or community group, or if you would like to participate in this project for the first time, please join us for a free event to kick off our 25th season:
Operation Christmas Child SuperStart Event
Unity Baptist Church, 1290 Barnes Mill Rd, Richmond, KY
Thursday, September 14 – 6:30 pm
Local year-round volunteers will share information, resources and empty shoeboxes with participants and a special guest will share her experiences from a shoebox distribution trip to Rwanda, Africa. Come hear how you can make a difference in the life of a child through a simple shoebox gift!
For Luis Gonzales, a shoebox recipient raised by a single mother in the ghetto of Panama City, Panama, his gift had a special impact. “When I was about to enter my first year of school, my family didn’t have the money to buy school supplies,” said Gonzalez. His experience is not uncommon for many children living in poverty and the lack of school supplies prevent many such children from attending school. One day, he received a gift-filled shoebox from Operation Christmas Child and found it filled with the school supplies he needed to be able to attend school. “I am committed to sharing my story to encourage others to pack shoebox gifts, because I know the difference it can make in a child’s life, ” said Gonzalez.
For more information on participating in Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ<http://www.samaritanspurse.org/occ> or contact local year-round volunteers Terri Bradley at [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or Kim Jones at [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or 859-623-6627.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.