Operation Christmas Child keeps growing

November 15, 2013
Karen Petersen, center, is helped by Maggie Autrey and her brother, Walt. Karey Rager is in the background.

Karen Petersen, center, is helped by Maggie Autrey and her brother, Walt. Karey Rager is in the background.

SCOTTVILLE – Over 1,000 children will have a brighter Christmas this year thanks to the efforts of area churches. Led by Scottville United Methodist Church, Operation Christmas Child brings gifts to children in other countries.

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samartian’s Purse, a Christian international relief organization led by Franklin Graham, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham.

Through Operation Christmas Child, shoe boxes containing toiletries, books and toys were collected by churches. The boxes are brought to a local collection church, the Scottville United Methodist Church, and then sent to a regional collection center in Traverse City. The boxes are eventually sent throughout the world. Donors are also asked to give $7 per box to help cover shipping expenses.

operation_christmas_child_United_methodist_church_scottville_1Since Scottville UMC started coordinating the project in 2009, area churches collected 2,720 boxes; 370 the first year and 969 in 2012. Karrey Rager of Branch, who coordinates the project locally, is hoping to collect 1,200 boxes this year with 14 churches participating.

“We think this is a good way to help the community and to help the kids,” said Rager. “It’s just a good way to spread the word of God throughout the world to kids who would normally never have heard it.”

Once the boxes are collected, the church will use a truck, furnished by Holden’s Home Emporium of Scottville, to deliver to Traverse City. Collectively those boxes will then be transported to a national distribution center.

According to www.samaritanspurse.org, the mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

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