PITTSBORO — Pittsboro Baptist Church (PBC) has been awarded a certificate from Samaritan’s Purse for participating as an official drop-off location for Operation Christmas Child for 10 years. Mindi Sullivan, Operation Christmas Child (OCC) area coordinator, presented the framed award to PBC Children’s Minister and Preschool Director Jennifer Cashion on March 26 during the JDs (Jesus Disciples) meeting.

Operation Christmas Child, a ministry operated by Samaritan’s Purse, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love to children in need in over 100 countries around the world.

Sullivan said that in the past seven years over 5,000 boxes have been delivered to the Pittsboro Baptist Church drop-off location. More shoe boxes were dropped off in 2016 than any of the previous 10 years at PBC. This year was the first time Cashion served as drop-off team leader.

Sullivan explained to the children attending the JDs meeting that once the shoe boxes leave Pittsboro Baptist Church, they are sent to a distribution center in Charlotte and then go by planes and ships to countries all over the world. To get to children in remote areas, the shoe boxes can be delivered by camels, donkeys, canoes and bicycles.

A child is allowed to receive a shoe box only once, but the gift of the one shoe box has been demonstrated to affect up to six additional people, according to Sullivan. In 2016, a total of 11,485,662 shoe boxes were collected by Samaritan’s Purse.