By Wayne Allen
November 2, 2013
Common Staff Writer
It’s estimated that volunteers packed over 8,000 shoe boxes on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Cornerstone United Methodist Church as a part of the sixth annual Operation Christmas Child (OCC) packing party.
“This wasour sixth annual community packing party. This year’s shoe boxes will include packing more than 100,000 simple gift items,” said Gaylene St. Leger Cox, OCC spokeswoman.
St. Leger Cox said when the shoe boxes leave Portsmouth, they will be shipped to locations around the world.
“These boxes go to the neediest of children, in the darkest places in the world. They may go to children in Afghanistan or in Zimbabwe and anywhere in between,” St. Leger Cox said. “Boxes will go to children who live in orphanages or children who live in garbage dumps.”
She said the shoe boxes are not only filled with tangible gifts like school supplies and small stuffed animals. “They are also filled with the message of Jesus. That is an indescribable gift that they are going to get. Some of the children may have never heard of Jesus,” St. Leger Cox said.
She said among those helping Saturday were 20 students from the Shawnee State University Honors Program, residents of the Marsh House and many others.
When asked about the complexity of coordinating the packing party every year St. Leger Cox said, “we have collected enough hot wheels so each boy gets one, every child will get playdough, ever girl will get a bracelet and every child will get toys.”
Items included in each box will be school supplies such as, notebooks, pencils, crayons pencil sharpeners. Other items include soap, a washcloth, combs and many other items.
St. Leger Cox said in the six years the packing parties have been held an 37,500 shoe boxes have been packed and shipped around the world.
For more information about the event, call Ginny Cook at 740-354-1419 or Gaylene St. Leger Cox at 330-904-5873.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.