Local Operation Christmas Child provides 697 gift boxes

Gift-filled shoeboxes from area churches, groups and caring individuals were delivered to the Operation Christmas Child Relay Center at Mountain Heights Baptist Church last week.

Seven-hundred decorated shoe boxes were filled with toys, clothing, hygiene items, musical instruments, candy, and love for needy children around the world. Many people included pictures and cards in their boxes. Perhaps one day a gift giver from Pagosa Springs will receive a letter from a child who receives a box. Stories abound about children’s lives being changed by the power of God’s love through these boxes.

The shoe boxes started their journey to the children by first going to the Southwest Collection Center in Durango. There, 3,283 shoe boxes were collected from the Southwest: Pagosa Springs (697), Durango (943), Bayfield (222), Cortez/Mancos (378) and Farmington, N.M. (1,043). From there, the boxes were transported to the Processing Center in Denver. Six Processing Centers around the country, with more than 70,000 volunteers, prepare the shoe boxes for shipping from the United States.

The shoe boxes will be shipped by trucks, container ships, and planes to approximately 100 countries. Each country has a national team that arranges transportation of the boxes by boats, trucks, camels, sleds, or donkeys … whatever it takes to get them delivered. The excitement, joy, and hope that these boxes bring to children in orphanages, villages, and schools epitomize the Christmas spirit. Many thanks to our generous community for making a positive difference in the lives of other children and families.

Thanks, also, to churches and individuals that gave from their hearts, and volunteered many hours. It is our hope that by giving to others, you, too, have been blessed. To learn more about this unique Christmas visit the Web site for Operation Christmas Child at www.samaritanspurse.org Click on “What We Do” and then select “Operation Christmas Child.”

Photo courtesy Nancy Burke
Local residents load shoe boxes from Pagosa Springs for Operation Christmas Child. Adults, from left, are Sue Ramey, Marlene Jorgensen and Anne Perea. Youngsters, from left, are Timothy Cochran, Makayla Perea and McKenzie Perea.