By Terrica Hendrix
Local volunteers with Operation Christmas Child recently visited the processing center in Dallas and helped prepare gift boxes for distribution to needy children around the world.
“I always look forward to going to one of the processing centers and working each year,” Beverly Starr, Southwest Arkansas OCC coordinator, said. “I believe this is my 11th or 12th year to work at an Operation Christmas Child processing center. It is amazing to see the thousands of shoe boxes that are being processed, and knowing that every shoe box is on its journey to bless the life of a child. The boxes are carefully inspected for inappropriate items, then repacked into shipping boxes for their final step of the journey to about 120 countries. Several times during the work hours, the volunteers pause to pray over the shoe boxes and for the children who will receive them.”
“We really enjoyed ourselves and felt God at work in OCC there,” Lee Hostetler said. “I count it a privilege to serve God in this way. The whole OCC is being the hands and feet of Jesus, and you get to see a lot of love put in so many, many boxes.”
“We look forward to serving each year at the Operation Christmas Child processing center,” Judy Carlyle said. “We believe our mission as Christians is to serve God and others wherever He leads us.”
Sheila Chaney said it is “always a blessing meeting other people who have the same love for the children and for the Lord Jesus Christ that I do.”.
“It was such a blessing to be a part of the Operation Christmas Child at Dallas this year. This was our first year of helping to process the shoe boxes, and my husband and I truly enjoyed our time there,” Jodi Hostetler explained. “May God bless each soul that has a part in it.”
The Nashville area Operation Christmas Child collected 17,369 shoe boxes, Starr said.
Most shoe boxes will have the possibility to impact from seven to 10 children, according to Starr, “so that number greatly increases. Many churches have been established from a child in the village receiving a shoe box.”
There were about 40 volunteers from the area who worked at the Nashville Collection Center during National Collection Week last month.