Letter to the editor: Community shows true meaning of Christmas

By Gaylene St. Leger Cox

Dear Editor,

I am writing to thank Scioto County residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children around the world. The generosity of Scioto County residents enabled the Southern Ohio Area Team to exceed our goal by collecting 5,676 of the area’s 13,041 gift-filled shoeboxes packed for Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. U.S. and international efforts, including Germany, Australia, Canada, U.K., and other sending countries, resulted in life-changing gifts for 10,569,405 children around the world.

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—Scioto County churches, schools, community groups and families brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though our four drop-off locations are closed until November 16 – 23, 2020, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a personalized shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Participants can also challenge others to pack boxes online with them or use a shoebox gift card to share the opportunity with friends and family. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling Area Coordinator Sherrie Klingaman at 740 395-6468.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.


Gaylene St. Leger Cox

Southern Ohio Area Team Media Support

Operation Christmas Child

Portsmouth, Ohio 45662

By Gaylene St. Leger Cox