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National Collections Week For Operation Christmas Child

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
National Collections Week For Operation Christmas Child

It is National Collections Week for Operation Christmas Child, an organization that sends shoeboxes filled with gifts to underserved children overseas.

Area Coordinator Lorie Berta said those boxes are filled both with necessities like school supplies and fun items like toys or stuffed animals.

“Any number of things that those children might not have an opportunity to get that we here in the United States take for granted,” Berta said. “You know our children have everything and those children, you know, some of them have never gotten a gift before.”

Berta said that the United States is one of nine countries that participate in the fundraiser. She said that she expects to deliver some 20,000 boxes from the Upper Cumberland alone to those children in need. Berta said that being a mom herself is what makes her dedicated to the work.

“I’ve always had a heart for children. Obviously, as a good Southern Baptist, I believe in spreading the message, the gospel, but when you look into the faces of those children and when you look into the faces of those parents who see for the first time their children having joy, maybe. As a parent, the happiest time in my life is when my kids are happy. But to see, as a parent, your child receiving school items so that they can go to school now. When you see them get flashlights when you can’t provide light for them in the night, but somebody across the ocean gave them a Dollar General flashlight, but it means so much to them. As a parent, it touches my heart.”

Berta said that this work also strengthens churches in these areas. She said that when the word of god is sent along with the gift boxes, people who perhaps are hearing this message for the first time start to attend church.

Berta said that those interested in participating can grab a shoebox or one similar in size, fill it with supplies, and drop it off at designated locations. Those include  First Baptist Church Carthage, First Baptist Church McMinnville, Covenant Fellowship, Westhaven Baptist Church in Cookeville, Livingston First Baptist Church in Livingston, Union Baptist Association in White County, Indian Creek Baptist Church in Smithville.

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