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Operation Christmas Child spreads gospel of giving in Connellsville

Ruth Smith of World Christian Outreach Ministries, Connellsville, believes that every child needs to be loved.

For nearly 15 years, Smith has expressed that love through Operation Christmas Child, a ministry that sends shoeboxes full of gifts to children throughout the world.

“Children learn to give by helping to pack these boxes,” Smith said. “They’re learning the importance of sharing with needy children.”

Smith looks forward to working at the new processing center at Jessup, Md.

“It’s exciting to see what happens at the next step of the process,” she said.

Nelson Confer, pastor of the Church of God, Connellsville, supports Operation Christmas Child.

“It’s a great way to reach people in other lands,” he said.

Confer has participated in the program for six years. He recalled helping at a processing center in Charlotte.

“We met people who actually distributed these boxes to the children,” he said. “We heard their stories.”

Confer said that there is a great need for white socks. Many children cannot attend school unless they have white socks.

To participate in Operation Christmas Child, people should select an age group and gender, and fill a shoe box.

Acceptable gifts include school supplies, hygiene supplies and non-war related toys. Unacceptable gifts include liquids, chocolate and war-related toys.

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry supported by Samaritan’s Purse, a ministry founded by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham.

Shoeboxes can be dropped off at World Christian Outreach, 503 W. Georgia Ave., Connellsville, behind Kentucky Fried Chicken. Include $7 for shipping. The boxes will go from there to North Carolina. From there, they will be shipped throughout the world.

Drop-off hours are as follows:

• Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

• Saturday, 10 a.m. -noon

• Sunday, Nov. 23, 1 to 4 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 24, 8 to 9 a.m.

For more information, call Smith at 724-628-9285 or 724-984-1053.

Barbara Starn is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.


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