ShareThis Page
Operation Christmas Child gets under way |

Operation Christmas Child gets under way

| Friday, October 4, 2002 12:00 a.m

Everson Evangelical Church wants you to consider starting your Christmas shopping early.

The church is a new drop site for “Operation Christmas Child,” a project that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to children living in desperate situations around the world.

While those shoe boxes from new school shoes are still around, Operation Christmas Child volunteers suggest begin filling them with gifts, such as small toys, school supplies, non-perishable food items, or personal hygiene items.

Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest children’s Christmas project, began in 1993. It is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham.

In 2001, more than 5.4 million shoeboxes were collected from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands for distribution.

This year, Operation Christmas Child projects 6 million shoe boxes will be distributed worldwide where war, famine and natural disaster are a way of life.

The goal for Everson Evangelical is 1,000 shoe boxes.

These will be combined with others from the area, from churches including World Christian Outreach Ministries in Connellsville and Clinton Church of God in Normalville, to total an estimated 10,000 that will be shipped from Great Bethel Baptist Church in Uniontown. From Uniontown, the boxes will be sent to Charlotte, N.C., for distribution.

Everson Evangelical project coordinator Tina Graft says the Everson drop site will be more convenient for participants in the program from New Stanton to Bullskin Township who previously had to drive their donations to other locations.

Everson Evangelical has been participating in Operation Christmas Child for three years, since Pastor Neil Stevens encouraged the congregation to become involved with the project.

“It’s a wonderful project. It’s exciting to see the boxes come in,” says Stevens.

Assistant coordinator at Everson Evangelical, Trissa McLaughlin, says she has contacted approximately 70 area churches to participate and the response has been “very enthusiastic.”

Graft says it’s more than a church project, though. Groups and organizations can choose it as a service project.

4-H clubs sew drawstring bags for the project, so the child receiving the gift has something in which to carry his or her items.

Groups or individuals may also consider helping with a money donation for shipping costs or the purchase of additional items for shoe boxes.

And donations of empty shoeboxes are always needed.

Graft says churches and organizations can arrange for a presentation that explains the project.

Ruth Smith, coordinator at World Christian Outreach Ministries in Connellsville, says it is also a good family project.

“Instead of, ‘What can I buy you?’ it’s ‘What can we do for someone else?'” says Smith.

She says she is getting her grandchildren involved in the project, to help teach them the importance of giving and sharing with others.

McLaughlin says it has had an impact on her family, giving them the realization of how much they really have.

Collections at Everson Evangelical (contact Tina Graft 724-529-0664) and Clinton Church of God in Normalville (contact Pastor Joseph Wingrove 724-626-1643) will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18 through Nov. 23 and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 24.

Collections at World Christian Outreach Ministries in Connellsville (contact Ruth Smith 724-628-9285) will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 18 through Nov. 23 and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 24.

Collections at Great Bethel Baptist Church in Uniontown (contact Susan Jennings 724-437-0815) will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18 to Nov. 25.

A local 800 number has been established for those who have to call long distance: call 1-800-397-9257 and leave a message for the center nearest to you.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.