Boxes brighten holiday hopes

Time is running out for area residents looking to lend a helping hand to children in need, as Operation Christmas Child looks to wrap up its Big Spring program Monday.Brenda Franklin, Operation Christmas Child relay center coordinator, said the local group is hoping to collect nearly 800 boxes this holiday season, a goal she believes the group will be able to exceed.“We're really excited. Things have been going wonderfully, so far, and we still have several days left,” Franklin said. “Our goal was to collect 775 boxes this year, and as of Wednesday afternoon we had received 567 boxes. I'm confident we'll not only make our goal, but that we'll exceed it this holiday season. It's really just an amazing thing.”Franklin said boxes for the effort — a project offered annually by the Samaritan’s Purse charity to provide shoeboxes full of gifts to children all over the world — are currently available for donors to pick up at the Big Spring drop off point of Allan's Furniture.“The nationwide push for Operation Christmas Child is from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22,” Franklin said. “We have boxes available, and if someone has their items together and ready to go, we'll accept the boxes anytime between now and 4 p.m. on Nov. 22.”Franklin said participating in the annual program is simple, and regardless what country the box of holiday goodies ends up in, it's sure to bring a smile to the face of the child receiving it.