Operation Christmas Child invites church leaders to share ideas May 15

Published 11:23 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The local Blue Ridge Area Operation Christmas Child team of volunteers is inviting people representing all area churches to a celebration of the 27,700 shoe box gifts collected in the 2010 season on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church, located at 699 North Grove St. in Hendersonville.

Showing a needy child that they are loved and not forgotten starts with something as simple as a shoebox. Right now, Operation Christmas Child is looking for more area churches to help fill those shoeboxes with small gifts.

Organizers say the purpose of the meeting is to celebrate the privilege of serving God through Operation Christmas Child, celebrate existing participation and to share ideas with churches considering participation, for generating more boxes.

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Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, the international relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham, has hand-delivered shoe box gifts in over 130 countries to more than 86 million children suffering from poverty, disaster, disease and war since 1993.

Although National Collection Week for shoebox gifts is Nov. 14 – 21, Operation Christmas Child is not limited to just the holidays. It is a year-round project, requiring months of organization and preparation to reach millions of kids around the world. Volunteers and shoebox gifts are needed during all seasons to help spread the spirit of giving that lasts all year long as well as the opportunity to actively participate in worldwide missionary work without leaving the area.

A small local church, which collects thousands of boxes each year, will present a short performance. Come early for snacks, meet and greet activities and lots of fellowship and fun. Anyone who has an interest in Operation Christmas Child or has been involved packing shoeboxes is welcome to attend.

For more information, visit “OCC Blue Ridge (NC)” on Facebook. To RSVP, contact Marilyn Haynes at mphaynes@juno.com or 828-696-2996.

– article submitted by Marilyn Haynes