Area charity collects shoeboxes for needy

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Local Operation Christmas picSUGARCREEK –21,958 shoebox gifts were packed and donated to Operation Christmas Child (OCC) during National Collection Week in the Ohio East Area.

“On behalf of the 21,958 children who will be blessed with a shoebox gift filled with joy, hope and love, thank you to the generous people of Carroll, Coshocton, Harrison, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties who filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child,” said Esther Troyer, OCC area coordinator.

This is the first year for the Ohio East Area of OCC, which includes Carrollton, Coshocton, Harrison, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties. “Thanks to generous hearts, we collected 7,543 more shoeboxes than in 2013,” shared Troyer.  “In the years prior to 2013, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties would average about 2,400 shoeboxes. This project of the international disaster relief agency, Samaritan’s Purse, continues to grow every year and bless children with a gift and the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ in third-world countries.”

Troyer also thanked the many volunteers who worked year round. Twenty two Ohio East team members spread the word about shoeboxes to churches, the general public, businesses and community groups. Many others were very involved in their churches, and there were those who made items or shopped year round for shoebox gifts. She was also grateful for all the seasonal volunteers who worked hard throughout collection week to receive, pack and load cartons of shoeboxes on trucks to deliver them to Boone, North Carolina, to be processed and prepared for their journey to over 100 countries around the world. “Everyone is important in this endeavor to bring joy to a child in need,” said Troyer.

It is not too late to donate a shoebox. Donations can be mailed to Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C. 28607. Shoeboxes can also still be packed online at samaritanspurse.org year-round.

“Most importantly, we now ask for people’s prayers to cover these gifts as they journey to the child God has selected,” said Troyer.

For information on becoming a volunteer with Operation Christmas Child, contact Esther Troyer at (330) 852-4039 or estherrtroyer@gmail.com.

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