2012-03-08 / Letters

Thanks Operation Christmas Child Par ticipants

To The Editor:

For all of us, Christmas 2011 is just a memory. But for millions of children worldwide the spirit of giving that we celebrate at Christmas lives on as they receive the boxes that were provided through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. I write to thank the generous efforts of residents of southcentral Pennsylvania, thousands who packed more than 20,000 shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and necessity items. These gift-filled shoe boxes are making their way – or have already made their way – into the hands of needy children in 100 receiving countries worldwide so that they can have the opportunity to experience the joy of Christmas. Southcentral Pennsylvania residents helped Operation Christmas Child (OCC), the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, to have its best season ever as more than 8.6 million shoe box gifts were collected in November and December. That means more children than ever before are receiving gift-filled shoe boxes and hearing the good news of God’s love. Despite tough economic times, more than 6 million boxes were packed by families, groups and churches in the United States – surpassing the goal of 5.8 million.

On behalf of our community, I would like to thank the volunteers at local collection sites and everyone who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift. For many of the children receiving these boxes, the simple shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.

Although the southcentral Pennsylvania drop-off locations are closed until November 2012, gifts are received throughout the year at Samaritan’s Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607. If you would like to get involved year-round in helping children in need through OCC, go to www.samaritans-purse.org/occ or call Shannon Krater, the OCC Penn Valley director at 814-686- 1971.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope and transform the lives of children worldwide.

Gary Buterbaugh

OCC Penn Valley Media

Volunteer

Operation

Christmas Child

Boone, N.C.

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