Thursday, November 18, 2010
Christ Episcopal Church, others spread joy to underprivileged kids
By BARRY BURLESON
The children of Christ Episcopal Church in Holly Springs are once again helping youngsters less fortunate around the world this holiday season.
And they are encouraging others to help.
The church this year is a receiving center for “Operation Christmas Child.” Volunteers are packing shoe boxes with gifts to help the world’s largest Christmas project share joy and hope with more than eight million kids around the world. And then they’re packing the shoe boxes into bigger boxes for shipping.
Christ Episcopal Church has been involved in the project the last eight years, but this time around has even more responsibility.
“Our kids look forward to packing shoe boxes each year,” said adult leader Lisa Shaw, who along with Kathy Elgin, organizes the huge effort for the underprivileged. “We are excited this year because a representative from Operation Christmas Child contacted us and asked us to be a receiving or relay center. As one of the kids said, ‘We will be the place that people take their boxes to.’
“Over the years, after packing the boxes, we had to take them to Oxford. It was exciting for both Kathy and me and our group that we would now be the spot where everyone delivered their boxes and now we are packing cartons, too.”
Christ Episocopal Church has also involved many churches, schools, businesses and families this year.
“We’re encouraging them to pack boxes so Marshall County will be well represented in the ministry,” Shaw said.
It’s a mission dear to the hearts of Shaw and Elgin.
“So many children will receive the gift of a shoe box, but in addition to their trinkets inside, they will also get the word of Jesus Christ (a storybook in their language about Jesus and his birth),” she said. “Many children do not even know who Jesus is, much less what presents are. They don’t get birthday gifts or Christmas presents. They live in horrible conditions. These boxes give them hope – proof that there is another world out there that cares for them; and for many, it gives them the ultimate gift – salvation in knowing Jesus Christ.”
Shaw and Elgin ask everyone reading this story to just pack one box and bring it this week (November 15-21) to the Parish Hall at Christ Episcopal Church in Holly Springs.
The boxes can be filled with toys, necessity items, school supplies, candy and a letter of encouragement.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, has collected and delivered more than 77 million shoe box gifts to hurting children in some 130 countries.
For more information, please go to the website – www.samaritanspurse.com.
Those with questions about packing and delivering shoe boxes to Christ Episcopal Church this week can contact Shaw at 662-544-2815 or Elgin at 662-252-0872.
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