Dear Portsmouth Daily Times staff,
I am writing to thank you and Scioto County residents for spreading joy to children around the world this Christmas. Through the generosity of your community, the South East Ohio Area Team was able to collect shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.
Scioto County volunteers transformed empty shoeboxes into treasured gifts filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys to be delivered to children around the world affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. These children, many of whom have never received a gift before, learn God loves them and has not forgotten them. 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.
Contributing to shoebox gifts packed by families and community groups, more than 300 volunteers excitedly gathered at Cornerstone UMC, Nauvoo UMC, Temple Baptist, First Church of Christ in Wheelersburg and SSU to pack more than 4,000 shoebox gifts.
It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though the four Scioto County drop-off locations are closed until November 2018, shoeboxes can still be packed and sent year-round to Samaritan’s Purse headquarters at 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607. Additionally, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling 937 374-0761.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project and for those who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message of hope and continue to transform the lives of children worldwide.
Gaylene St. Leger Cox
South East Ohio Area Team
Media Relations Volunteer
Operation Christmas Child