Organizers: Operation Christmas Child a huge success

When local coordinators with the annual Operation Christmas Child program set a goal to gather 775 goody-filled shoe boxes for children all over the globe, they hoped they would eclipse the number.What they didn't plan on, however, was being able to overshoot the goal by nearly 250 shoe boxes, making this year's effort one of the most prolific in the program's local history.Brenda Franklin, Operation Christmas Child relay center coordinator, said she was overwhelmed when she and her fellow volunteers counted 1,021 shoe boxes before taking the holiday vessels to the regional drop-off point in Odessa.“God is awesome. That's all I could say when we got the final tally,” Franklin said. “We set the goal of 775 boxes, hoping we would be able to exceed it, but we only thought we would be able to get a few more than that. When we realized we had gathered more than 1,000 boxes, I was just overwhelmed.”Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 61 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in some 130 countries.