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Area’s generosity reaches across the globe

Tommy Broom / The Prentiss Headlight – Sara Johnson, Operation Shoe Box Coordinator, stands before a mountain of boxes loaded with children’s toys, hygiene and school supplies and a prayer for children across the globe.

Tommy Broom / The Prentiss Headlight – Sara Johnson, Operation Shoe Box Coordinator, stands before a mountain of boxes loaded with children’s toys, hygiene and school supplies and a prayer for children across the globe.

The stack of red and green boxes delivered to the Covington-Jefferson Davis Baptist Association Center drop-off point grew at a tremendous rate surpassing last year’s number and reaching past this year’s goal of 3,000 as churches, organizations, schools and individuals brought in boxes loaded with items that would universally delight any child.

Volunteers at the Association included Hilda Barrett, Shirley Burnham (of Lone Star) Madelyn Easterling, Mary Bullock, Geylan and Alice Gregory, Judy Kitrell and Area Coordinator Sarah Johnson

They packed the smaller boxes into larger containers that were transported to the Hattiesburg center then on to their temporary destination at the Atlanta, GA processing center to be sorted and readied for delivery.

Hundreds of trucks/lorries and sea containers will transport our locally packed boxes along with millions like them to countries around the world.

“Trent Hanegan volunteered his time and truck again this year to transport the 3,187 boxes to Hattiesburg. The first year we only had 553 boxes. This is the biggest and best year yet,” states Area Coordinator Sarah Johnson.

Operation Christmas Child was begun in 1990.

In 1993 the program was adopted by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian international relief organization directed by Franklin Graham that has been helping people around the world for many years providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people. Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed over 100 million shoebox gifts worldwide.

Covington-Jefferson Davis Baptist Missions Director Tommy Broom states, “We have always known our area was filled with generous caring people and at this time of year they especially show an outpouring of love and care for others through their tangible gifts to those less fortunate. We are glad to assist in that by being a drop-off point for this program.”

Each box is packed with age and gender appropriate toys, clothes, hygiene items and school supplies and sent with prayer that it will open a door to share the good news of Jesus Christ with a child and a needy family. A language appropriate tract is included and a missionary in the area will follow up with the child’s family to offer assistance and Bible study. Many have come to accept Christ through this simple gift.