Letter to the editor: Local generosity helped make charitable project a success

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 17, 2023

I am writing to thank Lawrence County residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Generosity throughout Lawrence County contributed 3,982 lovingly packed shoeboxes to a successful collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child.

Across the U.S., the project collected over 9.3 million shoebox gifts in 2022. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2022, the ministry is now sending nearly 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

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Through shoeboxes — packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items — Lawrence County-area volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world.

Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories.

This year, Samaritan’s Purse delivered its milestone 200 millionth shoebox, which was packed on a country-wide tour and then hand-delivered to a young girl in Ukraine. In addition to Ukraine, hope-filled shoeboxes from the Southern Ohio Team Area journeyed to areas, including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Peru and the Philippines.

Across Ohio, shoebox packers often shop for deals on shoebox items throughout the year, and many serve at a deeper level by becoming a year-round volunteer. Information about ways area participants can get involved year-round can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling Southern Ohio Area Team Coordinator Sherrie Klingaman at 740-395-6468.

Although local Ironton and Kitts Hill drop off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 13–20, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online in just a few simple clicks at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.

These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Gaylene St. Leger Cox

Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child

Media Support Southern Ohio Area Team