MOOSIC -- People in our area are trying to make sure children around the world have a Merry Christmas. Thousands of boxes were packed up and shipped off Monday morning.
Pastor Dave Elick of the New Life Community Church has a big white beard just like Santa Claus. It's fitting because he's doing some of Santa's work.
Elick is delivering donated gifts from his church in Mountain Top to Moosic Alliance Community Church, a distribution point. This is Operation Christmas Child.
I think during hard times, people realize we have it hard but there are people who have it even harder,” said Pastor Elick.
And Pastor Elick says it's that desire to help that led to thousands of shoe boxes full of games, toys, puzzles, and school supplies. The boxes will be given to children around the world, and some of their pictures are on display inside the church in Moosic.
Elick and the pastor in Moosic, Doug Jensen, are in agreement. People in our area are always eager to answer the call for help whether it's in our back yard, or across the globe.
“I think there's an understanding the world is hurting, at least in our congregation, and we have a heritage in the Christian Missionary Alliance of reaching out overseas to hurting people,” Pastor Jensen said.
The Moosic site is a meeting of the gifts, a few thousand boxes of donations from more than 20 churches across our area. They go from there to a distribution center in North Carolina, then around the world.
Each package is labeled with a bar code, so donors can track who gets their gift and the kids who get the gifts know where the package came from, and they often send thank you letters back to northeastern Pennsylvania.
There's something else that makes these packages special. The people involved with Operation Christmas Child say for many children, these are the only gifts they'll receive.