To the Editor:
I am writing to thank Bennington-area residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.
Generosity throughout contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., the project collected over 9.3 million shoebox gifts in 2022. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2022, the ministry is now sending nearly 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide.
Through shoeboxes — packed with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items — Bennington-area 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. Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Samaritan’s Purse delivered its milestone 200 millionth shoebox, which was packed on a country-wide tour and then hand-delivered to a young girl in Ukraine.
Across Vermont, shoebox packers often shop for deals on shoebox items throughout the year and many services at a deeper level by becoming year-round volunteers. Information about ways area participants can get involved year-round can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling 518-437-0690.
Although local drop‑off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 13, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online in just a few simple clicks at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.
These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.