Operation Christmas Child Begins

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - It's only April, but Christmas is always on the mind for one organization.

Local volunteers met Saturday to get the Panhandle area moving for this year's Operation Christmas Child.

Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization, coordinates the national charity. Every year, churches and anyone interested fill shoeboxes with toys and hygiene products, which are then sent to children in other countries.

Organizers said the fundraiser reaches a lot of children but they must start early.

"In our area last year we collected 17,000 boxes. Which is a lot for the 6 county area that we're in. Probably 150 to 200 churches are involved in that." said Tom Stallworth, the area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child. 

Anyone interested in helping should visit www.samiritanspurse.org



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