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Record number of shoeboxes packed for Operation Christmas Child


Christmas Shoeboxes were collected for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child from churches and individuals in Gilchrist, Levy and Dixie Counties. They were brought to the collection site at Bethel Baptist Church. Collection week was held from November 13 through November 20 in this area and a total in 16,968 shoeboxes were collected and shipped to Atlanta, GA for further process and distribution to children around the world.

During the weekend of October 28 over eleven thousand shoeboxes were  packed during the second annual Packing Party, held at Camp Anderson in Old Town. These shoeboxes were provided by Union Baptist Church, who is the largest contributor to the total number of shoeboxes processed at the Bethel Baptist collection center.

Kay Roberts, collection coordinator, said, “Each little shoebox is a gospel opportunity for a little child.” Roberts went on to report some 25 to 30 volunteers came to Bethel to assist in our area collection week. Also, several area churches graciously provided lunches for the volunteers throughout the week.

When all 16,968 shoeboxes were safely loaded into the semi to be transported to Atlanta, a core group of tired, but happy packers remained for the final cleanup.

Next Christmas season you will again find churches in Gilchrist, Levy and Dixie counties hard at work collecting shoeboxes with the hope of touching a child’s life across the world with the message of hope, coming to know Christ, alongside a small toy, hygiene, school supplies and other appropriate items. When the child opens his or her shoebox, they will hopefully realize that someone in a country far away cares about them.