Operation Christmas Child collection set for next week

By ALLEN MINCEY
Posted 11/8/17

Many First Baptist Church members have donated to Operation Christmas Child. This year, these members are not only donating, but helping pack the boxes that will be delivered to children in …

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Operation Christmas Child collection set for next week

Posted

Many First Baptist Church members have donated to Operation Christmas Child. This year, these members are not only donating, but helping pack the boxes that will be delivered to children in impoverished countries.

From Monday, Nov. 13 to Monday, Nov. 20, many volunteers will be at the church collecting items and boxes which have items in them for these children.

Christy Williams, an FBC member who serves as the project coordinator at First Baptist Church and serves as logistic coordinator for the Tennessee Valley team (consisting of several local counties, including Bradley), said that at this Monday's "packing party," nearly 400 boxes were readied for the children. She noted that these Christmas Child boxes will be eventually delivered to over 160 countries and territories, and the goal for all boxes is 12 million from across the United States and other nations.

"We have six drop-off centers,  including First Baptist Church, which will be collecting during Nov. 13 to Nov. 20," Williams explained. "Then, on Nov. 20, these collection centers will deliver the Christmas boxes to First Baptist, where we load them on the trailers."

The trailers then transport boxes to Charlotte, N.C., where they will be readied for distribution.

Williams said that there is a charge of $9 per box for shipping, but stressed that this is very economical. 

"I checked on shipping from the postal service, and a box sent to Peru this size would cost $86 to $66 dollars," Williams said.

The church held a pancake breakfast to help raise monies for the deliveries.

"We call these boxes GO, for gospel opportunities," Williams said. "Every child who receives a box gets the gospel. Then, they get invited back to the Greatest Journey, so they receive the gospel and then go out and pass that along so they may be creating churches themselves.

"We have six drop-off centers,  including First Baptist Church, which will be collecting during Nov. 13 to Nov. 20," Williams explained. "Then, on Nov. 20, these collection centers will deliver the Christmas boxes to First Baptist, where we load them on the trailers."

The trailers then transport boxes to Charlotte, N.C., where they will be readied for distribution.

Those involved in this Monday's packing party said they are excited to pass along the gospel through this program.

Jane Richardson said that "this is for the children. And there is much more that the get than just these boxes."

"It is a ministry to send to these kids that don't have anything," said Dorothy Williamson. Monday was Williamson's first opportunity to be involved with others at the packing party, though she has been putting together individual boxes for years.

Alice Smart said that the group is "high on joy." 

"The Lord has blessed us so much, and to think of every child with the smile on their face when they open these boxes gives you a special feeling," she said.

Williams agreed with those who were volunteering with the project.

"Operation Christmas Child gives me a spiritual high," Williams said. "I am so passionate about it, so excited about it, love talking about it. It is more than just packing shoeboxes. because I have seen the impact — 240 children an hour leading children to Christ. If that doesn't excite you as a Christian, then I don't know what will."

She said that if anyone wants to know where to drop off Operation Christmas Child boxes outside Bradley County, check out www.samitarianspurse.org/occ, and place their zip code, which will let them know the drop-off center for them.

Any who might wish to volunteer next week to pack boxes can contact the First Baptist Church, and a time will be determined for them to help.

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