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Operation Christmas concludes this week

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Christmas seems to bring out the good in most people and there are many programs of giving going on during the season. One of those programs is &#8220Operation Christmas Child” where shoeboxes are filled with items to be distributed to children.
Although many of the participants are churches, the program is non-denominational and open to all who are interested in helping a child who may never have experienced the joy of receiving a gift of any kind.
Since 1993, more than 39 million shoeboxes have been collected in the United States and 10 other countries and delivered to boys and girls in more than120 countries. This year the organization expects to send more than seven million shoeboxes to 95 countries. Caring people fill the shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and an assortment of other gifts, and carry them to drop-off locations. They are then collected and sent to regional Processing Centers, where volunteers package them for shipment overseas.
Shoebox gifts are a tangible way to show God's love to children in difficult circumstances and to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. As gifts are distributed, it gives an opportunity to minister to those who receive the boxes.
Several local churches have decided to participate, including Zion Hill Baptist, First Baptist Church of Brewton, North Brewton Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church of Brewton, First Presbyterian Church of Brewton and others. The collection at each place will be carried to Southern Pine Electric Coop to be packed with other area collections from Atmore, Evergreen and Frisco City to be trucked to Montgomery. The relay church in Montgomery will then get the boxes ready to ship overseas.
National collection week ended the week before Thanksgiving.