HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Once again this year The First of Hattiesburg on Lincoln Road is leading the effort locally in Operation Christmas Child.
The program is run nationally by Samaritan's Purse International Relief organization. In 1993 the organization began collecting shoe boxes full of presents to send to children living in poverty world wide.
The First is still taking donations of the shoe boxes from other area churches. organizations, and individuals. In the next few days the boxes will be loaded onto tractor trailers and shipped to Atlanta to be shipped overseas.
Anyone wanting to contribute can do so by dropping your donation off at that The First or a monetary donation can be done at SamaritansPurse.org. The shoe box can contain a variety of items.
"It's a lot of pencils, hair bows, combs, comic books, coloring books, crayons, toy cars, clothes, and stuffed animals," said Skip Bing, volunteer. "Certain things are not allowed, war related items, toy soldiers, anything like that. These go to 116 different countries throughout the world."
Last year the first collected 33,000 boxes. This year they are looking to make that 35,000.