Thanks to many Operation Christmas Child contributors
I am writing to thank and celebrate Southern Maryland residents for spreading joy to children around the world this Christmas season. The generosity of volunteers, families and groups paved the way for us to meet our goal of collecting 18,768 shoebox gifts for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child — the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.
These amazing numbers are a 9 percent increase over last year’s collection totals. Since 2007, the Southern Maryland area has packed over 100,000 shoebox gifts.
The gift-filled shoeboxes are tangible expressions of God’s love for children around the world suffering from poverty, natural disaster, war, disease and famine. These children, many of whom have never received a gift before, learn they are loved and not forgotten. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.
It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though the Southern Maryland drop-off locations are closed until November 2017, filled shoeboxes are collected year-round at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C. Additionally, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift at samaritanspurse.org/occ. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website.
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. Tamla Pridgen, Leonardtown The writer is the media relations coordinator for Operation Christmas Child — Southern Maryland Area Team.