Trinity Baptist Church in Calhoun was recently named the Northwest Georgia collection site for the program and churches, clubs, organizations, and individuals from all over Northwest Georgia brought shoeboxes they had filled with letters, toys, books, anything they wanted to send to children for Christmas around the world.
Trinity Baptist has been a collection site for about 10 years, according to this year’s drop off coordinator at the church, Faye Darby.
“We collected 14,000 last year, and this year our goal was 16,000. Even in this economy people have huge hearts,” said Darby. “This is people’s way of being missionaries, when they can’t travel around the world, they can pack a shoebox and make an impact in a child’s life across the world.”
In Gordon County, alone, 48, churches, clubs, and organizations donated filled shoeboxes to the drop off location at Trinity Baptist. Bethesda Baptist Church donated 363 boxes, Belmont Baptist Church donated 219, First Baptist Church donated 305, Newtown Baptist Church donated 313, and Trinity Baptist Church donated 240.
Clubs that participated in the event were the Calhoun High School Cross Country Club, which donated 17 boxes, Calhoun High School FBLA donated 39 boxes, and Calhoun High School Beta Club donated 148 boxes.
“Every box is important and we hope to encourage businesses and others to participate in the future,” said Darby. “Individual children bring in a box and that one box is just as important. One box at a time, one child at a time.”
The boxes were sent to a packaging center in Atlanta, by way of ABF, which is contracted with Samaritan’s Purse, the organization that ships the boxes overseas. Operation Christmas Child has shipped 100 million boxes to children all over the world, since the inception of the program in 1993.
Donations for things to fill the boxes with are collected all year long, according to Darby, who says that the program is for people of all ages; especially the young children who get very excited to help others.
Darby shared of one story involving a gentleman who collects items for the boxes all year long in memory of his wife who passed away. The contents he provides fills more than 100 boxes each year, which is how many his wife used to donate when she was alive.
“It’s a community effort. It’s creating the ripple effect,” said Darby. “We want to provide a growing enthusiasm and excitement of sharing the love of Jesus Christ, and we want that excitement to spread everywhere.”