A prayer started the night off at the Dunntown church in Wade. Volunteers of all ages filled the Church to help out with the churches annual Operation Christmas Child..This program has been going on at this church for over 14 years, All year long they collect items from clothing, to candy, to toys to even toothpaste and toothbrushes to fill a shoe box for a child.
“The first year that we started I think they only had like 81 boxes and we are now up to like last year we had 543 or something like that so we’ve come a long way.” Beth Hartford a Church member told us.
The amount of boxes have increased over the last two years due to funding that came through the Algonquin Power Corporation. Each year they have a program called the Heroes program which they choose one community type project to fund.
“This is actually the second time we have applied for the heroes grant and the second time that we have received it and the Algonquin power corporation has sent us a check for 1,250 dollars to go towards the operation Christmas child program.” Said Gary Blackstone a volunteer and employee at Algonquin Power Corporation.
These are no ordinary shoe boxes. Operation Christmas child’s goal is to fill boxes, and send them all over the world, so a child who might normally wake up on Christmas without a gift, won’t have to. I spoke with a few of the volunteers who told me why Operation Christmas is important to them.
Colby Conroy said, “some people really forget the meanings of Christmas, a lot of times they focus on themselves and their families and stuff and there’s so many other families and children that don’t get that opportunity.”
Tabatha McLaughlin told us, “it makes it special for them.”
Devin Martin added, “They don’t have anything in there so, I hope their happy about this.”
Christmas time is the season for giving, each box packed tonight guarantees a smile when given to a child Christmas morning.