Operation Christmas Child kicks off

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Some area churches are participating in Operation Christmas Child, an international ministry of Samaritan's Purse. People donate shoe boxes full of goodies that will be taken to children across the world.

Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church in Meridian is one of the churches participating in this global ministry.

"Everyone can pack a shoe box. If you don't have a shoe box, you can call our church, 15th Avenue Baptist Church. We will get you some boxes. Fill them up with all kinds of wonderful goodies, hygiene things, school supplies, bring them here to us this week," says Catherine Knight relay director for 15th Avenue Baptist Church.

Through this program, children will receive these gifts just in time for Christmas.

"We fill up a shoe box, we send it to Atlanta. Atlanta goes through it, adds some more stuff, fixes it. Adds in a little book called "The Greatest Gift." This is a story of Jesus, eleven little stories, so they're introduced to Jesus. They get all the goodies that are in the box, and many of these children have never received any present from anyone before," Knight explains.

Members of the church are proud to be one of the many across the country who are participating in this effort.

"We are so excited. Our whole church participates. Our volunteers are here this morning to help us. We think that it is one of the most wonderful ministries that we do here at 15th Avenue."

The church hopes to build on the successes they have already achieved, along with the success of the ministry as a whole.

"It has been very successful; last year we packaged over 4,000 boxes. We're looking for 6,000 this year," Knight says.

To find your nearest drop-off location, you can go to the Samaritan's Purse website by clicking the attached link.