I’m writing to thank the residents of Franklin and Macon County for their generosity in helping needy children worldwide this Christmas season. Together we were able to collect 5,949 in Macon County and 17,972 shoeboxes in Western North Carolina – which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties — filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items — for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. We also want to share our U.S. total of almost eight million and worldwide total of over 10.4 million. For many children, these shoeboxes will be the first gifts they have ever received.
Although our local drop-off locations here in Macon County are closed until November 2015, shoebox gifts can be packed any time. Operation Christmas Child is a project of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, and gifts are received year-round at its North Carolina headquarters (801 Bamboo Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607).