Operation Christmas Child had a record-breaking collection in Dallas County recently. The drop-off site at the Adel United Methodist Church had a goal to receive 1,000 boxes, and that goal was exceeded. A whopping 1,068 boxes came in. Many churches, groups, and individuals generously filled shoe boxes with gifts for needy children around the world. Their enthusiasm is inspiring to us all.

This year the gift-filled shoe boxes from the Dallas County area will be delivered to Madagascar, India, Zambia, and/or Kenya. Operation Christmas Child travels to more than 130 countries each year, and doors to more countries increasingly continue to open to this ministry. Samaritan’s Purse, the international relief effort of which Operation Christmas Child is a part, hopes to extend its outreach every year and reach more and more children.

It’s not too late to participate an is as simple as filling an empty shoe box with basic items, such as school supplies, hygiene items, candy, toys, and clothing. "Building a box" for a child is such a tangible way to help a needy child. Through this ministry, a child receives his very own special gift that you have personally put together just for him. Very likely, the Operation Christmas Child gift will be the first one the child has ever received. For the first time, the child will have something to call his own! To know that people care and love him, even from far away, gives the child such joy and hope. It literally can change his life! (See real-life accounts on samaritanspurse.org). Although national collection occurs during the third week of November annually, gift-filled boxes and donations can be sent all year long to Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse,P.O. Box 3000, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607. For more information or to donate online, go to www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. Thank you, to each and everyone of you who helped make Operation Christmas Child an incredible success this year. Together we’re sending the love of Jesus around the globe and giving children hope.