Aroostook Community Matters: Operation Christmas Child

Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 12:07 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Operation Christmas Child collection is wrapping up in the County. Last week was Collection Week for Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child. For this week’s Aroostook Community Matters, we take a look at a church in the County participating in Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child, a program through Samaritan’s Purse, has been running since 1993. Through the program, local individuals, churches, or organizations pack shoe boxes with gift items that are used for missions work happening in third world countries.

Andrew Blackstone: “This year of course there is a lot that is going to Ukraine, some of them go to Peru and Guatemala and those countries. And those are used as a way for some of the local missionaries to have an impact on some of the young children and the communities that they have served. So they take those boxes, and get brought down to North Carolina, and then they get repacked and ultimately distributed to these other countries.”

Blackstone is a pastor at State Road Church. He says the church has participated in this program for years, but this year marked the first year operating as a central drop off location. According to Blackstone, in years past, the church has invited families and individuals to bring empty boxes home and to bring them back in all at one time, but this year they have done it differently.

Andrew Blackstone: “This year throughout the entire year, we have been collecting different items that would go into shoeboxes. One month we collected soap and hygiene items, and another month we collected toys and stuffed animals, and other month we collected combs, socks, hair stuff. And then a couple weekends ago, our local organizers Tim and Grace Tarr actually put on a packing party so we packed about 145 boxes I think was the total number for that night and we did pack a couple afterwards.”

Blackstone says this is a great opportunity for families to really connect to the idea that they can participate in a global effort.

Andrew Blackstone: “We certainly want to be a part of our local community and we try to participate in our local community in a number of ways. But we also want to help our children know that they can have an impact on the world, and this is one of the ways we do that.”

To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, visit Isaac Potter, News Source 8.