By Wayne Allen
Operation Christmas Child (OCC) volunteers are in the midst of National Collection Week, which will run through Nov. 23. In anticipation of national collection week, two area churches were honored for their commitment and dedication to the cause.
The churches honored were Grace Community Church at Bigelow and Nauvoo United Methodist Church. The churches were recognized for their service to children in need around the world.
Grace Community Church at Bigelow, 315 Washington Street, Portsmouth has served as a Relay Center for 10 years.
Nauvoo United Methodist Church at 1403 5th Street, West Portsmouth has served as an official collection point for Operation Christmas Child for five years.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, the organization has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries. In 2015, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children.
Thousands of shoebox gifts are packed and donated during National Collection Week, by the two of four Scioto County Relay Centers during, which is held during the third week of November.
Trish Shaffer, relay center coordinator since 2010, reported 2,998 gospel opportunities were delivered to Nauvoo UMC in 2014.
Susan Horr, relay center coordinator at Grace Community Church at Bigelow reported the receipt of 1,971 gospel opportunities.
In addition to their service as Relay Center Coordinators, Shaffer is involved in the annual SSU packing party and Horr involved in her church’s annual packing party.
“Operation Christmas Child is excited to formally honor Grace Community Church at Bigelow and Nauvoo United Methodist Church for their dedication and years of service,” South East Ohio Regional Coordinators for Operation Christmas Child, Jerry and Ruth Brown, said. “Reaching millions of children each year with the good news and great joy of God’s love would not be possible without these wonderful ministry partners.”
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call Gaylene St. Leger Cox at 330 904-5873 or visit samaritanspurse.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT