Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child wrapping nearly 3 million boxes for children in Charlotte facility
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Santa’s elves aren’t the only ones working hard this holiday season.
More than 40,000 Samaritan’s Purse volunteers prepare gift boxes for Operation Christmas Child at the Charlotte facility.
Charlotte is the largest eight-center treatment center in the United States.
“Today we just passed the million box mark, so it’s exciting. We believe that with 43,000 volunteers, a total of two and a half million boxes will be processed here, ”said CEO and President of Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham.
One of those 43,000 volunteers is Yuri Lopez, Lopez received her first Operation Christmas Child box while she was in an orphanage in Honduras.
“At the age of six, that’s when I felt hope for the very first time, when I received an Operation Christmas Child show box gift,” he said. said Lopez.
From birth to sixteen, Lopez lived in more than a dozen orphanages, having been separated from her family.
“One was my first Christmas present, but two, for the first time I had something that I could say as my own that I don’t have to share with anyone else. Normally in my orphanage, if there was a pair of shoes, the first one in line would be the one we received, ”Lopez said.
From birth until she was 16, Lopez lived in more than a dozen orphanages, having been separated from her family.
Her first box contained not only toys, but her own toothbrush and a pack of ten school pencils.
Lopez said his orphanage typically only gave children a pencil and notebook for the whole year; she even had to share her toothbrush with other children.
Years later, she still has the note from her first box, which says “Jesus loves you and I love you too.” It’s the same love she felt then, she passes it on to every box she sends.
“I’m grateful to experience it firsthand,” said Lopez.
Matt Reed is the director of the Charlotte Treatment Center, he says donors have been extremely generous and don’t let supply chain issues prevent Samaritan’s Purse from achieving its goals.
“We expect to process between 2.5 and 2.6 million display boxes this year out of the more than 9 million that will be received from across the United States,” Reed said.
Each box is carefully packaged with school supplies, stuffed animals, toy cars, and hygiene products – which may seem like ordinary items but mean the world to kids who aren’t so lucky.
“The body of Christ comes together and impacts so many children in a third world country as someone in my life when I was only six,” Lopez said.
Volunteers will continue to pack the boxes until December 18.
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