MOOSIC -- Boxes upon boxes filled the offices at Moosic Alliance Community Church Thursday.
Church members carefully counted the boxes full of shoe boxes bound for children around the world. The church in Moosic has collected the donated gifts and prepared them for shipment for almost 20 years.
Pastor Eric Ferguson is new to the church- this is the first time he's watched his members' meticulous operation for Operation Christmas Child, a national organization.
"I'm very proud, this is the first time I've been involved in this, we've always filled them and then taken them to places like this. So, I've never been involved, since I`m new here, to do this kind of a project, it`s really fulfilling, the people love it, and I love it," Ferguson said.
Each shoe box is packed up and will be sent to a facility in Maryland before being distributed around the world. It takes the volunteers only a few hours to sort through thousands of gift for boys and girls.
"Many of them have never received a gift before, and so they just take it, that somebody loves them, and cares," said church member Linda King.
Eventually, the members at Moosic Alliance Community Church will fill two tractor-trailers with more than 3,000 shoe boxes. But, that is only a quarter of the total number of shoe boxes being sent from our area.
"Last year we shipped out, with our other drop off centers, the trucks took 11,852 shoe boxes. This year we`re hoping for 12,000 in the area," King added.
King said many of the boxes will be sent to places in the US and abroad that were hit hard by hurricanes this year.
"Some of these kids have never received a gift, they don`t even know what Christmas is all about. If we can just help out, and tell them a little bit about Jesus, that`s what we want to do," Pastor Ferguson added.