Operation Christmas Child exceeds goal for area

Published 9:28 am Monday, November 22, 2021

With more than 2,000 boxes already collected, the Bainbridge drop off center for Operation Christmas Child could not be more thrilled with the 2021 turnout.

Project leader and collection site leader, Sue Webb headed up this year’s program at First Baptist Church.

“First Baptist Church has always packed boxes, but this year we became the collection site,” Webb said. “It’s been a work in progress, but it has been so rewarding.”

Webb said, as of Thursday, they had already received 2,900 boxes, with nearly 200 of the boxes being given by Climax Baptist Church.

Climax Baptist Church Pastor Steve Brooks said the packing of the shoeboxes is a church-wide effort.

“Our children on Wednesday nights pack boxes for two weeks,” Brooks said. “Our youth help the kids put the boxes together, and we stress the importance to them of how these are going to kids who may not normally get any Christmas gifts.”

Brooks said he uses the shoeboxes as a tool to teach kids how to serve others, instead of being served.

“It’s a new experience for most of them,” he said. “We normally try to do about 200 boxes, because the members respond so well to helping out with this project.”

Webb said she was unsure of what type of numbers to expect from the community, being last year was a COVID-19 year, and the boxes received went down.

“This year, though, we’ve already surpassed our goal and we are sure we have more coming,” Webb said.

The regional goal for Operation Christmas child, which consists of the Bainbridge, Blakely and Cairo area, is 4,500 boxes.

As of Wednesday night, the region had already collected 4,700 boxes.

While the bulk of donations has already been given, First Baptist Church will be open for limited hours on Sunday, before taking the boxes on Monday to the Dothan transfer center.

For anyone who feels a last minute calling to make a shoebox, Webb assures them that Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful mission.

“It gives a gift to a child in need and allows us to share the gospel all over the world,” she said. “Samaritan’s Purse’s goal is 9.7 million boxes and we really want to meet that this year.”

First Baptist Church will be open for collection on Sunday from noon- 2 p.m.