Operation Christmas Child runs Nov. 13-20

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(L to R): Leader, Amanda Francis, Caitlyn Crook, Ashton Feinstein, Kiley Hughes, Carly Brown and leader, Emily Crook pose with the Operation Christmas Child gift boxes filled with items designated for children in 3rd world countries.

Ready for Christmas! Acteens of Auburn Baptist Church, Auburntown, prepared 60 gift boxes for Operation Christmas Child (OCC). A project of Samaritan's Purse, OCC provides Christmas gift boxes to children in 3rd world countries. Area coordinator, Sue Puckett-Jernigan of Indian Creek Baptist Church, Smithville, advised the local goal for 2017 is 3400 OCC boxes. Having worked in OCC ministry for over seven years, Sue Puckett-Jernigan reports volunteer work is a blessing.

National collection begins Monday, November 13th and extends through Monday, November 20th. Indian Creek Baptist Church, Smithville, is the Drop-Off Center for our area. Hours are Monday thru Friday 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; Sunday, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and on Monday the 20th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Shipping and ministry cost for each box is $9.00 which was provided by the church. There are over 5000 National drop off locations across the US. Local boxes collected at Indian Creek drop off, will be transported to Cookeville and on to national collection centers in either Georgia or North Carolina for international shipment.

Dr. Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan's Purse, tells of handing out shoeboxes to children searching through a garbage dump in Ecuador. Kateryne Lovell, a student at TTU in Cookeville, tells of receiving the OCC shoeboxes at Christmastime while living in an orphanage in the Ukraine. Hygiene items, toys, clothing and school supplies are labeled and packed for either a girl or boy. Each gift communicates hope, joy and God's love to a child overseas.

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