Packing hope and joy into 9,328 gift-filled shoe boxes, Danville residents gave children around the world a reason to smile this Christmas season and beyond. Shoe box gifts filled with meaningful yet simple toys, school supplies and hygiene items for Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project, are now being distributed to children living in desperate places around the world.
In spite of an unstable economic climate in 2008, giving was generous to this project of Samaritan's Purse, as 7.9 million shoe box gifts were collected from caring families, churches, individuals, businesses and community groups. On behalf of our community, I would like to thank the local collection sites, the volunteers and everyone who packed a shoe box gift. For many needy children, their packed shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.
Though the Danville drop-off locations are closed until November 2009, there is still time to pack a shoe box. Gifts are received year-round at Samaritan's Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607. To get involved, go online to www.samaritanspurse.org or call 1-800-353-5949.