LTE: Local Operation Christmas Child Team Thanks Residents in West Central PA Area

Children received gifts during a shoebox delivery in the Dominican Republic. Photo credit: Samaritan’s Purse.

Dear Editor:

I am writing to thank West Central Pennsylvania residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children around the world.

Your generosity to the West Central PA Area Team enabled us to exceed our 2019 goal by collecting 12,104 gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. OCC is a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse.

U.S. and international efforts, including Germany, Australia, Canada, U.K., and other sending countries, resulted in shoebox gifts for another 10,569,405 children around the world.

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—West Central PA Area Team volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world.

Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, OCC has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though West Central PA Area drop-off locations are closed until Nov. 16 – 23, 2020, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a personalized shoebox gift online at

Participants can also challenge others to pack boxes online with them or use a shoebox gift card to share the opportunity with friends and family.

Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the Web site:

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.


Karla Sunderlin

Operation Christmas Child

West Central PA Area Team Coordinator

Children received gifts during a shoebox distribution at Mulunguzi Dam in Zomba, Malawi. Photo credit: Samaritan’s Purse.



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