Local church helps Operation Christmas Child

Nov. 13, 2012 @ 11:58 AM

The holiday season is in full swing and several people are out to do their part.

Christ United Methodist Church in High Point is one of four in the area helping with Operation Christmas Child, a worldwide project to collect shoebox gifts for children overseas.

This week as a part of National Collection Week for Samaritan’s Purse, Christ UMC on N. College Drive is serving as a collection site for gift-filled shoe boxes that will be hand-delivered to needy children in more than 100 countries, including the United States.

“The Christmas spirit is really alive around here,” said Carol Briley, organizer of Christ UMC’s Operation Christmas Child. “

The project began in 1993 with 28,000 participants. This year they are expecting to pack and send 9 million boxes to reach the organization’s 10 million box milestone.

Although Christ United Methodist has been a part of Operation Christmas Child since 1995, the church became a local relay center in 2010.

“Churches and organizations pack their own shoeboxes and bring them to us and we put them in cartons and put them on the trailer truck we have here,” Briley said.

In its first year as a local relay center, Christ United collected 4,219 shoeboxes. In 2011, it collected 3,712 and hopes to collect between 5,000 and 6,000 boxes this year. On the first day of collection alone, Briley received 337 boxes.

Boxes are packed according to gender and age. Items that can be put in the boxes include gloves and tobogans, toiletries, toys and crayons.

“It’s a great way to bring joy to children around the world, one shoebox at a time,” Briley said.

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