Church fills Christmas shoeboxes

Tara Tupling, Jeanette Cavadini, Janelle Tupling, Janelle Tupling and Diana Mickelson are at the Mansfield Community Church’s Chat and Craft session on Nov. 7 to prepare bead bracelets for Operation Christmas Child. Also shown is young Tara Asmussen, at left. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Amber Black, Christy Asmussen and Jackson Asmussen pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child on Nov. 11 at the Mansfield Community Church. (Provided photo/Diana Mickelson)

The Mansfield Community Church on Nov. 11 hosted its 8th annual Operation Christmas Child event to pack shoeboxes for children in need around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is sponsored by Samaritan?s Purse.?The international Christian relief organization started the program in 1993. Traditionally, miscellaneous items ? toys, school supplies, personal hygiene items and notes of encouragement ? are packed in shoeboxes?to be distributed worldwide to?the children.

For the past several weeks church members have shopped and donated items for packing.

Preparations for the packing event began Nov. 7 during the weekly Chat and Craft session in the church basement.?Women attending set aside some time to bead bracelets, and organize stuffed animals, socks, hats and T-shirts for the shoebox recipients.

On Nov. 11, the worship service was lead by Denver and Amber Black, followed by a potluck?and time of prayer. Volunteers then worked together packing the shoeboxes.

The packed shoeboxes?were taken to Eastmont Baptist Church in East Wenatchee?during National Collection Week held Nov. 12-19.?All shoeboxes from throughout the area?are?then trucked to?a distribution center and from there shipped?on to the children. Donors also had the option of tracking a shoebox online to its destination.

?Last year we packed 50 boxes, so this year?s shoebox goal was 60, and we are happy to report that we met our shoebox goal of 60 boxes,? Pastor LeRoy Harshaw said.

?We are very pleased with the community support and we want to thank all of our volunteers,? Nancy Harshaw said.??We truly enjoy doing it, and it makes us feel good knowing we are sharing the love of God with children in need around the world,? Harshaw added.