Dear Editor,

Despite a global pandemic, residents throughout Philadelphia PA Area Team shared the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

At curbside drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child, generosity of donors across the U.S., resulted in more than 7.8 million shoebox gifts collected in 2020. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2020, the ministry is now sending more than 8.9 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items— volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 186 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

Across the Philadelphia PA Area Team, shoebox packers shop for shoebox gift deals year round, and many serve at a deeper level. Information about ways area participants can get involved year round can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling (717) 774-1920.

Although local drop‑off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 15 – 22, 2021, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online in just a few simple clicks at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.

These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Sincerely,

Dana Williams

Submitted from 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC on behalf of Philadelphia PA Area Team year-round volunteer efforts

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