Operation Christmas Child

Jamie Heap
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AWC parishioners volunteer time to fill Christmas shoeboxes for needy children around the world

Adults and children of all ages volunteered their time Saturday at the Amherst Wesleyan Church to pack Christmas Shoeboxes to be sent to needy children living elsewhere in the world as part of Operation Christmas Child. One-hundred-forty-six boxes were packed. Pictured from left (back row) are Braden Pettigrew, Cathy Joudry, Debbie Allen and Justin Hample. Front row, frow left: Nathan Hample, Gracen Chitty, Jennetta Hample, Gracie Hample and Molly Jay Smith. 

AMHERST-For over two decades, Amherst Wesleyan Church (AWC) and its parishioners have done their part to support Operation Christmas. This year, however, marked the first occasion that AWC pastor Raymond Fancy and his flock congregated together at AWC to help fill Christmas shoeboxes for needy children.

“I’ve been involved with Operation Christmas Child for 15 years,” stated Fancy. “This is the first time we’ve gathered together to pack Christmas boxes. In the past, people would take boxes home to fill before returning them to be shipped.”

Held in conjunction with Samaritan’s Purse Canada, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that has been proving spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world since 1970, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed over 100 million shoebox gifts worldwide since its inception in 1990. In 2012 alone, Canadians donated more than 662,000 Operation Christmas shoeboxes for hurting children around the world. National Christmas Shoebox packing week runs from November 18 through November 24, 2013.

“It’s a neat event because kids get to pack a box that will go to a needy child elsewhere in the world who might not have received a gift before,” stated Fancy.

Items that adults and children packed in Christmas Shoeboxes included school supplies, candy, mini basketball hoops, tennis and rubber balls as well as toys.

The AWC Shoebox Packing Party that took place this Saturday from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm also featured hot dogs, chips, pop and the animated movie Veggie Tales.

“It’s a great event for the young at heart,” stated event co-organizer Debbie Allen. “We had hoped to fill 40 or so boxes but ended up with 146,” she added. “And there will still be some boxes brought in (on Sunday) by congregation members.”

“I would just like to thank the AWC,” stated event co-organizer Cathy Joudry.

For more information about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child, please visit them online at http://samaritanspurse.ca/operation-christmas-child.aspx



Organizations: Amherst Wesleyan Church, Operation Christmas Child, Christian organization AWC Shoebox Packing Party

Geographic location: AMHERST

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