Operation Christmas Child seeks Wilson-area volunteers

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Operation Christmas Child, an international humanitarian ministry of North Carolina-based nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, is seeking Wilson residents to help organize this year’s regional shoebox drive April 15-21 for National Volunteer Week.

Each year, about 150,000 U.S. volunteers help transform empty shoeboxes into “tangible expressions of God’s love,” according to the organization, by packing them with toys, school supplies and hygeine items.

Operation Christmas Child partners with local churches worldwide to deliver these gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disaster, war, terror, disease and famine. For many of these children, this is the first gift they have ever received.

“National Volunteer Week is a great time to become a part of this international project,” said Janie Baker, who heads up the Coastal Plain Area Team across the Wilson area for Operation Christmas Child. “Joining an Operation Christmas Child Area Team is an amazing way to give back year-round and share God’s love with children in need.”

To learn more about joining the Coastal Plain Area Team or to apply for leadership opportunities, visit samaritanspurse.org/volunteerwithOCC or call 252-236-8160.

Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries since 1993. This year, the Coastal Plain Area Team hopes to collect 16,500 shoebox gifts to contribute to the 2018 global goal of reaching more than 11 million children in need.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham and based in Boone.