To the editor:

I am writing to thank and celebrate Jefferson County residents for spreading joy to children around the world this Christmas season by supporting Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse. The generosity of volunteers, families and groups paved the way in 2016 for us to pack 1,230 shoeboxes in the county, 9,534 shoebox gifts in the Southeast Indiana District, and 11,485,662 shoeboxes in the USA.

 The gift-filled shoeboxes are tangible expressions of God’s love for children around the world suffering from poverty, natural disaster, war, disease and famine. These children, many of whom have never received a gift before, learn they are loved and not forgotten. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. Each child that receives a shoebox is offered the opportunity to take a 12 lesson program to learn about Jesus.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though the Jefferson County drop-off location at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Madison is closed until November 2017, filled shoeboxes are collected year-round at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. Additionally, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift at Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling (812) 637-3637.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project and for those who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message of hope and continue to transform the lives of children worldwide.

Linda Hall

Area Coordinator for Southeast Indiana

Operation Christmas Child