Local family contributes more than 100 boxes to Operation Christmas Child

| November 17, 2017

Kelly Loper and her 8-year-old daughters Emma and Lily dropped off 108 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child on Nov. 17 at Grace United Methodist Church. Jason, Kelly’s husband and the girls’ father also helped with the project. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Kelly Loper starts shopping for Operation Christmas Child in January and by September she is ready to get her totes out of storage and start packing shoeboxes.

“Two years ago we did 30 boxes,” she said. “Last year we tried to double it but only got to 45. This year we had enough for 108 boxes.”

Loper and her 8-year-old daughters Emma and Lily dropped their shoeboxes off Nov. 17, at Grace United Methodist Church, which was a collection site for the project run by Samaritan’s Purse. Her husband Jason also helped with the project, but couldn’t attend the drop off day.

The goal of Operation Christmas Child is to fill shoeboxes with little toys, school supplies and hygiene items and they are then delivered to children living in poverty overseas.

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years,” Kelly said. “I started at my old church and when we went to a different church kept doing it. It’s a good experience for the girls.”

She also likes that they aren’t just sending gifts. They also are sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with local churches worldwide, share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

“These boxes are all going to help other people,” Lily said.

She was excited to pack yo-yos in them and her sister Emma said she just liked filling the boxes.

“They are all going to people in need,” Emma said.

Cathy Hudson, drop off coordinator for Grace United Methodist Church, said on Nov. 17 they already had 1,400 shoeboxes and were expending to receive more before the collection period was over.

“Park United Methodist Church had been a drop off site before and when we closed and came to Grace they allowed us to incorporate this project which I appreciate very much,” she said. “This is a great way to spread the Gospel of Christ around the world. These shoeboxes give kids in war-torn and poverty areas hope. They may be filled with a lot of simple little things…..but they show them that someone cares.”

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Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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