Letter to the Editor: Why Operation Christmas Child is important

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Dear Editor,

Worsham Baptist Church, where I attend, packs 200 shoeboxes (100 for girls; 100 for boys) every year for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse. After hearing that so many little girls in third world countries may never get a new dress and some will never get a dress at all my heart was touched. It is a huge honor for girls to have a dress in some of these countries. I knew I had to do something to make at least some of them happy. I began this project in the spring of this year and I set out to make 100 dresses to bless at least 100 little girls. I started with “pillowcase sundresses” for the younger girls (age 2 to 9). I learned that in some countries girls are not allowed to show their shoulders so I began making skirts and t-shirts for the older girls (age 10 -14). I completed this project in late August.

Sewing has been my passion since I was about 8 years old and particularly making little girl dresses and doll clothes. I sewed clothes for my daughter, her friends and my son, then later for my nieces, daughters of my friends and then my grandchildren . I had amassed a collection of fabric from all my sewing projects and when friends learned about my 100 dress project they offered fabric and notions from their stash to help me along. I also found lots of fabric at yard sales. God just kept blessing me so I just kept sewing. I have always been a firm believer in using what God gives to us.

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A few years ago I made about 50 sundresses for our shoeboxes at church, then last year I made 200 tote bags. The shoeboxes are often packed so full that the kids cannot get all the goodies back into the box, so a tote bag made sense to me. Then I learned from a missionary that when the children come for their allotment of rice and beans they often have to carry the food home in their shirts and that reinforced the fact that a tote bag is a useful gift.

Once I got started creating gifts for the shoeboxes I found more projects that I could do. Frisbees for the boys! Who knew that one could make a Frisbee? I found directions on the Operation Christmas Child website and I began making Frisbees, too. Each of the 8 to 14 year old boy shoeboxes will have a Frisbee. 

I feel blessed to be able to contribute to this project and I’m thankful for all the folks who have helped me along the way with fabric and supply donations. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we work together. Anyone who wants to contribute to Operation Christmas Child should go to their website: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child and explore the options. There is something there for everyone. 

Patricia Hurt

Prince Edward