Operation Christmas Child loads up for holidays

It's a program that brings the world together during the holiday season.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 2:46 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Two trailers full of shoe boxes full of toys, trinkets and other items for kids around the world. They’re being loaded up for a trip to spread joy and hope this holiday season.

New Hope Baptist Church in Gulfport is one of 4,700 drop off locations around the world for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse.

“Often times this is the only gift a child will receive in their entire lifetime,” said Liz Cook, Collection Center Coordinator. “They’re going to hard-to-reach areas and underground routes. It goes to war-torn countries. We’ve had millions of boxes go to the Ukraine. There’s 900,000 slated to go to the Philippines next year.”

Some boxes even have teddy bears hand crafted right here at New Hope. Inside the church, there’s devotional time and prayer work done by Sharon Levens, who’s sight impaired but tells us she prays over each and every box that comes into the church.

Monday was the last day for drop offs. Once everything is collected, the boxes will go to Atlanta then to points across the globe.

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