Operation Christmas Child begins in Horry and Georgetown Countie - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Operation Christmas Child begins in Horry and Georgetown Counties

Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

SURFSIDE, SC (WMBF) - This week, Myrtle Beach families, churches and groups are giving back by packing gifts for children around the world living in extreme poverty or affected by war, disease and natural disaster.

Since Operation Christmas Child began, it has collected and delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. 

A 2013 distribution map shows in green the countries that collect and donate, and the other colorful countries are those that receive. The countries in white are considered sensitive, meaning the boxes going to those countries must be in unmarked white boxes.

For just $7 you can discover the destination of your box.

“I do it every year, I love to see where my box goes,” said Linda Boyd, Collection Coordinator at Surfside United Methodist Church. “If you do more than one box, they end up all over the place. But if you pay your postage online they’ll give you a bar code and you put it on the box and it will let you know where it goes.”

Each of the large cartons hold about 23 small gift field boxes, and operation Christmas Child leaders said they hope to fill four of these trucks. Last year they were able to collect more than 19,000 small boxes for children, and this year they hope to receive 22,000.

“It really warms my heart to know that such a small gift means so much to these children,” said Colleen Welch, a volunteer.

“It’s the only gift they may get in their lifetime,” said Boyd.

You can donate as well, including Items that children will immediately embrace, such as dolls and toy trucks. School supplies and toiletry items are also welcomed. Samaritan's Purse urges you not to include used, damaged, or war-related items.

Volunteers will be at the Surfside United Methodist Church collecting gift filled boxes until Monday.

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