Article Published: Feb. 14 | Modified: Feb. 14
Operation Christmas Child, a national Christian holiday
initiative through Samaritan’s Purse, is reporting an increase in the number of collected shoeboxes,
which were distributed to needy children worldwide.
Jennifer Davis, a
regional manager for OCC, reported that more than 25,000 shoeboxes were collected in the
seven-county area surrounding Boone.
The shoeboxes include toys, school
supplies and hygiene items to children who do not have ready access to
In the Carolina regions alone, more than 820,700 shoeboxes were
“That is up from 724,300 last year,” Davis said. “That’s a huge growth
just for this region.”
Nationally, 7.5 million shoeboxes were collected — up from
6.5 million in 2012 — and 9.9 million were packaged worldwide.
attributes the increase to the organization’s “favor of God” in serving the Lord and those children
who are living in destitute conditions.
“I feel like this was a monumental
year for our ministry,” Davis said. “We are celebrating 20 years of this
The year of celebration was not limited to recipients of the shoeboxes
either, she said. Volunteers were also afforded the opportunity to work and worship
“This is a celebration of what God has done the last 20 years,”
Davis said. “Overall, we had a generous outpouring of donors and churches that are supporting the
project. These are marking the difference in the lives of children worldwide.”
shoeboxes and need of individuals to help package the boxes have also served as tools for pastors to
invite new members into their congregations.
“This allows for the mobilization of
local churches,” Davis said.
Although drop-off locations in the Boone area are
closed until November 2014, shoebox gifts can be packed any time. Gifts are received year-round at
Samaritan’s Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C. 28607 or through the project’s online tool, where
donors can virtually build a box. To get involved, visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org,
or call (828)