Operation Christmas Child hopes to reach 11 million children this year

Volunteers from Harrison, Jackson, and Stone counties are at New Hope Baptist Church in Gulfport today to ship thousands of shoeboxes filled with goodies in conjunction with Operation Christmas Child.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 198 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. The shoeboxes are filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items.

“Our mission is to share the gospel and this is what the box is about. Not only the gift that this child will receive for the first time, and maybe the only time in their life that they will receive,” says Doug Bradford, the logistics operator for the area. “They don’t understand Christmas, but they understand the gift, and the gift of Christ is the most valuable thing that we are trying to share with these children.”

These gift-filled shoeboxes contribute to Operation Christmas Child’s global goal of reaching more than 11 million children in 2022. The Gulf Coast drop-off location will be the first stop on a journey across the globe.

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