Operation Christmas Child Of Northwest MI Bringing Smiles Overseas

John Hurst 4 picks out a pencil to put in his Operation Christmas Child shoebox during the packing party at First Baptist Church of Liberty City Saturday

Operation Christmas Child Of Northwest MI Bringing Smiles Overseas

"The shoe box is a gift to them, showing that there are individuals in the world that aren't evil, that aren't nasty, that do love them, even though they've never met them", Robert Johnson, the pastor at the church said.

The project, a ministry of Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse, delivers the shoeboxes to children in need in 160 countries and territories, aiming for December 25.

The Williams community is joining tens of thousands of USA families to make an impact in the lives of children in need.

"Fifteen years later, they can tell you every item that was in that box - it means so much to them", Hayenga said.

So they can be delivered to these smiling faces across the globe.

Nancy Morrison, Drop Off Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Rapid City, says, "It's such an honor to serve in such an wonderful organization".

The boxes contain gifts for boys and girls from ages 2 to 14.

The Boise team hopes to collect more than 17,000 shoebox gifts until next week.

Forest Home Baptist Church volunteers Helen Hawkins and Vicki Hodges pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child Monday
Operation Christmas Child Of Northwest MI Bringing Smiles Overseas

"We hear so many stories about the impact the boxes have".

Each shoe box is filled with toys and some essentials like bars of soap and toothbrushes. Shoeboxes built online also allow ease of entry through customs, and help ensure Operation Christmas Child's continued presence in places that are hard to reach.

"This year it's going to secure areas, so they can not tell us", she said. Local collection of the Christmas boxes is underway through Monday at Unity Baptist Church's multi-purpose building.

It will be late winter or early spring before the children receive their Operation Christmas Child box.

The goal this year is to collect 23,000 shoe boxes from around the Valley.

The Bridge Wesleyan Church is one of ten local sites where donors can drop them off. Donors can fill any old shoebox with things like school supplies, stuffed animals, and hygiene products.

"We call them the lemon cookie necklaces", said Charlene Phelps, who leads the shoebox ministry at Abingdon Baptist Church.

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