Christmas is not over for Everyone - South Dade News Leader: Opinion

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Christmas is not over for Everyone

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 8:10 pm

I am writing to thank those South Dade/Florida Keys residents who shared the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this holiday season. The generosity shown to the South Dade Florida Keys Area Team enabled us to collect 3,905 shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse.

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items- our area volunteers brought smiles to the faces of children around the world affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

Our collection season was especially sweet this year as it showed how far South Florida has bounced back from Hurricane Irma, especially in the lower and middle Keys. In 2018, churches, groups, and individuals from Marathon to Key West collected 1,368 shoeboxes, as compared to 2017, in which the lower and middle Keys areas only collected 514 shoebox gifts, 114 of which came from Sugarloaf Baptist Church, which sustained major damage from Irma.

Now it’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though our area drop-off locations are closed until November 2019, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a personalized shoebox gift online at Participants can also challenge others to pack boxes online with them or use a shoebox gift card to share the opportunity with friends and family. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling 407-273-6112.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Marie Brishke

SAMARITAN'S PURSE Area Coordinator

South Dade/Florida Keys Area Team, Operation Christmas Child|

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