Christmas giving starts early at Garner church

Posted November 11, 2012

— Even before sitting down to a Thanksgiving turkey, members of a Garner church are getting into the Christmas spirit of giving.

The congregation of the First Baptist Church of Garner spent Sunday packing hundreds of shoe boxes with holiday gifts for children around the world.

"It's an opportunity for us as a church family to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ," Pastor Travis Tobin said.

The church is one of an estimated 70,000 working with Boone-based relief organization Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. The project sends up to 6 million shoe boxes, packed with toys, candy, school supplies and hygiene supplies, to children in 130 countries.

"We're expecting our 100 millionth shoe box to be collected" this year, said Chris Shelton, regional manager for the Carolinas Region of Samaritan's Purse.

Izabella McMillion, a Durham school teacher, knows what the impact that these gifts can have on children.

As a 13-year-old in communist Romania, "I learned how to pray and started to pray for snow," McMillion said. That year, more than two decades ago, she received a shoe box from Operation Christmas Child.

Snow globe Snow globe spreads Christmas love across the world

"In my shoe box, I found this snow globe, and for me, that snow globe was the snow that God had given," she said.

Now, McMillion hopes that the shoe boxes she helped pack will show other children that they are loved.

"You never know how you're going to touch a life," she said.


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  • superman Nov 13, 2012

    Wonderful idea. Maybe someone will get something started like this for the United States. People in foreign countries hate us. It be much better for them to help their friends and neighbors in this country.

  • working for deadbeats Nov 12, 2012

    Crazy Christians doing their giving again! It's a breath of fresh air from the left who just takes.

  • New Creature Nov 12, 2012

    One can easily see the where their heart is by looking at where their money goes.
    We can all see evidence of that in each of our lives.

  • justbcauz Nov 12, 2012

    Ms. McMillion spoke at our church this year as we kicked off our Operation Christmas Child season and her story was so wonderful. Regardless of your opinion of Franklin Graham or the Graham family, OCC is a wonderful ministry that touches countless lives each year.

  • 3forme Nov 12, 2012

    Grand Union it is very sad that you feel the way you do about this operation. You really need to get your facts right. Every box hand packed by kids, parents, grandmas and grandpas with things -they- have selected not some corporate entity. Quit hating and do something positive with your life. I promise it won't hurt..

  • anderson Nov 12, 2012

    There will always be haters...they are best ignored...this is a great charity and a great way to spread the truth of Jesus throughout the world.

  • Skywatch_NC Nov 12, 2012

    Everytime I see things you spread hate.

    I agree

    Its Grand Union's e.g. usual hate agenda toward the Graham family and their ministry.

  • cad Nov 12, 2012

    I don't think you know what you are talking about once again. These shoe boxes are packed by indivuals and gathered at different churches (even nondenominational) in the area to send to children throughout the world.

    Where did you get the Graham Family con???

    Everytime I see things you spread hate.

  • New Creature Nov 12, 2012

    Hundreds of Churches in the Triangle area participate in this event for the poor and needy children in this world. They send volunteers to the huge operation in Charlotte that inspects, prepares, and ships all of these packages. God is Good! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for everyones efforts.

  • Willie_11 Nov 12, 2012

    This is a great church who is doing good work for the glory of God and giving back to the community. Keep it up First Baptist of Garner. Praise the Lord!