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OCC breaks record, again

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The Scott and Tara Hathcoat family of Nashville recently packed 200 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Area OCC coordinator Beverly Starr expressed her appreciation to the Hathcoats for their help with the program. "They have worked very hard to achieve this," Starr said. The Southwest Arkansas Collection Center at Nashville shipped a record 17,369 shoe boxes of Christmas gifts to OCC at the end of National Collection Week Nov. 21. They will go to a regional processing center before being sent to needy children around the world. This year's collection eclipsed last year's total of 16,107 and was well ahead of the 2016 goal of 16,500 boxes. More than 108,000 boxes have been sent from the Nashville center in the past 13 years, according to Starr.

By John R. Schirmer
News-Leader staff

Operation Christmas Child continues to shatter its own records.

For 2016, local volunteers set 16,500 shoe boxes as their goal.

The final count at the end of National Collection Week was 17,369 boxes shipped from the Southwest Arkansas Collection Center in Nashville.

The boxes will be inspected at a regional processing site before being shipped from to needy children throughout the world.

During the past 13 years, more than 108,000 boxes have been sent from the Nashville center.

“Every day boys and girls around the world suffer from poverty, war, disease, and natural disaster. Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes bring hope to many who have no hope, and lets them know that someone loves them and that God loves them,” collection center coordinator Beverly Starr said.

She said that people from throughout the area are involved in packing, collecting and shipping the boxes.

“Families, churches, individuals, businesses, and schools work together to make Operation Christmas Child a successful project,” Starr said. “I am so thankful for a community that works together on the Operation Christmas Child project. Because of you, little children, many in dire situations – such as the Philippines, Haiti, or in the Iraqi refugee camps, will be blessed by your generosity.”

Starr and other local volunteers will work this week at the processing center in Dallas to prepare boxes for shipment overseas.

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