Operation Christmas Child prepares to ship presents

Photo submitted to Times Observer Trey Carrington, one of many volunteers who participated in Pleasant Community Church’s Operation Christmas Child Packing Party on Nov. 9, packs items in a shoe box for delivery to a child overseas.

Operation Christmas Child is getting close to sending its shoeboxes filled with love and items for children all over the world.

Operation Christmas Child, a program of Samaritan’s Purse, collects and ships boxes of gifts.

“We take in shoeboxes filled with gifts for children, many of whom have never received gifts before,” Central Drop-Off Team Leader Patti Seth said. “Many of them end up in Eastern Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, South America.”

“The purpose is to get school supplies, hygiene items, a shirt and shoes, a toy of some sort, anything that would brighten their day and make them smile,” Seth said. “When they open the shoe box, the joy and the love comes pouring out, that somebody cared enough to do that. Just to get some love to them, so they know they’re loved, and that there is someone who loves them.”

Boxes can be differentiated for boys and girls and for ages 2 to 4, 5 to 9, and 10 to 14.

The church has some items that can supplement boxes that aren’t quite full, if the donor wishes.

There are only a few more days to have a shoe box sent.

“We are open Thursday and Friday 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. to take in shoe boxes,” she said. “If they can get there before 10 a.m. on Monday, I’ll still take shoe boxes.”

Samaritan’s Purse requests a donation of $9 to help defray the cost of shipping each box.

All of those boxes will be put in crates for shipment.

Boxes coming in from drop-off sites in Corry, Bradford, St. Marys, and Emporium will arrive Sunday and Monday.

From Warren County, the crates roll to the Baltimore — Washington D.C. area and are then shipped to their international destinations.

“Once the shoe boxes are delivered, the kids are given the opportunity to have a discipleship program — the Greatest Journey,” Seth said. “That gives them an opportunity to come to know Jesus.”

Pleasant Community Church has participated for more than 10 years.

“We have been a Collection Center since 2009,” Seth said. “We have many folks who purchase items throughout the year and provide money to cover shipping costs.”

“I am so grateful to be a part of Pleasant Community Church,” Seth said. “At our Packing Party this month we filled over 700 shoe box gifts of love.”

“With shoe boxes from Warren County, Corry, Bradford, St. Marys and Emporium, along with others, we have sent over 63,000 shoe boxes since 2009,” Seth said. “God has truly blessed this ministry around the world.”


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