Crossroads Covenant Church sends gift boxes to needy children

Volunteers Sharon Illgen and Nancy Stewart packed gift boxes in large cartons to be sent to the collection site.

By the deadline on Monday, Nov. 19, about 1,700 gift boxes were dropped off at Crossroads Covenant Church in Columbus to be sent to hurting children around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is a program of Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational Christian organization that helps victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine.

Crossroads is a relay center for dropping off gift boxes. From there they are trucked to the KTIS collection site, and then to the processing center in Bloomington, one of five in the U.S.

Darla Haseltine, director of children’s ministry, said there were so many donations that she ran out of official Samaritan’s Purse cartons for packing the boxes.

Before they are shipped overseas, the boxes are checked so that any inappropriate contents, such as liquids or war toys, can be removed. Items are added to fill in gaps so that each box is packed completely full.