Ministry fills shoeboxes to help world’s children

“Operation Christmas Child is a simple, tangible way for children and teenagers to join adults in sharing the joy of giving to children around the world at Christmas,” said Jennifer Hughes.

Operation Christmas Child, also known as OCC, is a “Shoebox Project,” where individuals fill shoeboxes with gift items to be delivered “in the name of Jesus Christ to children living in desperate situations around the world.”

Hughes is the area’s relay coordinator for the ministry, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham.

OCC has touched the lives of more than 69 million hurting children since 1993 through its “Shoebox Ministry,” Hughes said.

Last year, more than 8.1 million shoeboxes were delivered to children in 108 countries. Mountainview Baptist Church in Chelsea filled 50 of these boxes. This year their goal is 80. Mountainview will also serve as a relay center for the project.

Hughes said she is hoping to get people of the community, businesses, schools, churches and other organizations involved with this project. This ministry can be found on the web at Samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Web address for Mountainview Baptist Church is Mountainview.cc/. For further information, Jennifer Hughes can be reached at hughesjc3@hotmail.com or 960-9140.

She said that OCC will provide participants with “free materials on how to pack the shoe boxes, label, dvd’s, etc.”

Packed boxes can be left at the church during National Collection Week Nov. 15-22.

The relay station at the church will be open that week for collection from 6-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays.

For weekend times, contact Hughes or the church.

Operation Christmas Child teaches children “about giving, the real meaning of Christmas, and about sharing the gospel with others,” said Hughes.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at ssnivens@bellsouth.net.