Operation Christmas Child Distributes 10.5 Million Gifts

OCC Southeast Florida Team at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale Drop-Off location: Marie Frederick Drop Off Team Leader, and team members Dede Utz and Reida Trent (left to right).

Despite a global pandemic, area residents shared the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season. Generosity throughout Southeast Florida contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at Drop-Off Locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., the project collected more than 9.1 million such gifts in 2021. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2021, the ministry is now sending more than 10.5 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

Operation Christmas Child

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items—Fort Lauderdale-area volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 198 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories.

In the front row: an unknown volunteer, Pauline Lunt, Marie Frederick, Reida Trent, Dede Utz, Steve Utz, and in the back row Becky Johnson, Artie Johnson, and Nancy Reuwer (left to right).

Across Southeast FL Area Team, shoebox packers shop for shoebox gift deals year round, and many serve at a deeper level. Information about ways area participants can get involved year round can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling (407) 273-6112.
Although local drop-off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 14 – 21, 2022, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online in just a few simple clicks at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.

These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

For more local stories, visit https://www.goodnewsfl.org/topic/news/local/

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