Operation Christmas Child

By Kate Gaier
5:00 pm October 18, 2006

"Operation Christmas Child" has been reaching out to children less fortunate for more than a decade.

Last year the program provided more than seven and a half million shoe boxes filled with anything from a toothbrush and toothpaste to coloring books.

Dr. Joe Allen, the Pastor at 1st Baptist of Cairo, commented on the program, "I think the first year I was here we had about 70 boxes and then we jumped up pretty dramatically to about 200, and last year we had almost 250 boxes."

This year the Grady County Sheriff's Office is stepping in to help local churches put together as many boxes as possible. Jail administration has even enlisted help from some of the inmates.

Leona Welch is an inmate helping out and said, "It does real good for us because it keeps us occupied from the free world and what goes on out there and our problems and frustrations in the back, and it's also helping kids. I think it's a real good idea."

Captain Tim Gainous, the jail administrator, added, "Everything we can give an inmate to do that's positive is in their best interest. It's hard doing time. They're there for a reason, they've messed up and they're here for a reason. That doesn't mean we can't make something positive come from it."

Turning a bad situation into something positive, millions of children across the world will have something to open come this holiday season.

For more information, visit: www.samaritanspurse.org/OCC.asp?MPGID=1