Dear Vinton-Jackson Courier Editor,

Despite a global pandemic, residents of Jackson County shared the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Generosity throughout the Southern Ohio Area resulted in 11,490 shoebox gifts collected at curbside drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child; 1,559 of those were packed by generous Jackson Countians. Across the U.S., the project collected more than 7.8 million such gifts in 2020. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2020, the ministry is now sending more than 9.1 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items—Jackson County volunteers again 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 186 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories

Across Southern Ohio, shoebox packers shop for shoebox gift deals year round, and many serve at a deeper level. Information about ways Jackson County participants can get involved year round can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ, or by calling Southern Ohio Team Area Coordinator, and Jackson resident, Sherrie Klingaman at 740 395-6468.

Although local drop‑off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 15 – 22, 2021, 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.

Sincerely,

Gaylene St. Leger Cox

Operation Christmas Child

Portsmouth, Ohio

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