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Shoebox ministry kicks off next Monday in county

It’s become one of the county’s most popular hands-on charities for the holiday season.

Operation Christmas Child, a.k.a. “The Shoebox Ministry,” returns with a kickoff set for 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 13, at the Family Life Center of the First Baptist Church of Greenville.

“We hope to enlarge our territory once again this year to involve more area churches, youth groups, school organizations and more. This is a wonderful way to share the Gospel,” said Linda Horn, coordinator for the Greenville Relay Center.

“We hope everyone will think of two or three new groups they could contact to be a part of OCC this year.”

The ministry, an offshoot of Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse, involves shoeboxes or shoebox-sized boxes filled with age-appropriate small toys, games, stuffed animals, toiletry items, school supplies and other items.

These gifts are destined for poor and war-torn children across the globe, many of whom would never receive a Christmas present otherwise.

“We will have plenty of materials and info on hand for distribution at our meeting next Monday night. If you can’t attend, try to send a representative. Hopefully, with all the materials, people can schedule follow-up kickoffs for churches, schools and community groups,” Horn said.

The Camellia City will once again be an official Relay Center for OCC.

As an official Relay Center, volunteers will load shoeboxes dropped off at the Family Life Center directly into larger boxes for shipment to Montgomery, the regional center.

The Relay Center will be open Nov. 17-22 for groups to drop off their filled shoeboxes. Volunteers will be needed to man the center (probably for two-hour shifts) during those days. Relay Center hours will be 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The boxes will be transported to Montgomery on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 23.

“I hope everyone will share in my excitement as we once again prepare our shoeboxes for this wonderful ministry. Please pray for needed volunteers, trucks and willing hearts,” Horn said.

For more info, call Linda Horn at 334-382-4902 or e-mail at lhorn@pioneerelectric.com.