North Country residents have set another new area record for giving to Operation Christmas Child.
Residents in Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, Oneida and Herkimer counties have donated 15,463 shoe box gifts filled with school supplies, hygiene items, stuffed animals and small toys to the outreach mission of Samaritan’s Purse organization led by Franklin Graham.
The giving represents a 16.5 percent increase over donations from the five-county area in 2011.
Anyone who would still like to send gifts to children ages 2-14 in areas of disaster, poverty, disease and war can ‘Build a Box’ online at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ
To learn how to get involved with Operation Christmas Child in 2013, contact volunteer OCC NY North Central Area Coordinator Patty Jennings at 315-232-2690 after January 1.
Organizers are looking to establish more drop-off sites in each county for the November 2013 collection week.
Giving to Operation Christmas Child increased in four of the five of the New York North Central Area’s 5 counties:
Herkimer County – this was Herkimer’s County first year with its own in-county relay center collection point; 939 Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts were collected at the Mohawk Reformed Church in Mohawk, NY
Jefferson County – 6,353 Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts were collected from Jefferson County residents; an increase of nearly 35 percent over 2011
Lewis County – Lewis County’s only relay center — at the Naumburg Mennonite Church in Castorland – collected 1,210 Operation Christmas Child boxes, an increase of more than 21 percent
Oneida County – The Oneida County Operation Christmas Child drop-off sites collected 4,124 shoe box gifts this year; a slight decrease from the 4,695 boxes collected in 2011.
Oswego County – Oswego County’s Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift donations increased by slightly more than 13.5 percent in 2012 with 2,837 boxes collected.