Faith and Family: Program to feature Operation Shoebox Thursday

Published 12:17 am Friday, November 1, 2019


NATCHEZ — Operation Christmas Child is fast approaching and churches and organizations are beginning to take donations to pack shoeboxes full of items for children around the world to ensure those children have a good Christmas.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, New Covenant Presbyterian Church, 130 Homochitto St., Natchez, is holding a donation drive with a program organizers promise will be fun.

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“It will be a program of music, magic and mirth and playing piano,” said Burnley Cook, local musician who will team up with New Covenant’s Music Director Roberta Duhs for the program. “Music director Roberta Duhs is going to be singing and Roberta is fantastic.”

Cook said the program would include Broadway show tunes, easy listening jazz and a few sacred numbers with Duhs singing.

“We’ll have a little bit of scripted silliness thrown in, but not from Roberta,” Cook said. “She’s serious.”

No admission will be charged for Thursday’s program, Cook said. Instead, a love offering or donations of items for Operation Christmas Child would be accepted.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love to children in need around the world, said organizer Beth Dudley. The tool used is a shoebox gift packed in our local community and distributed to needy children around the world sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ through a book that Samaritan’s Purse adds to each shoebox called, “The Greatest Journey.”

Since 1993 Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million shoeboxes to children in over 160 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.

Thursday’s event is at 6 p.m. New Covenant Presbyterian Church, 130 Homochitto St., Natchez, and Cook said not to let the early nightfall stop people from coming out.

“It is still getting a little dark at 6 p.m., so we will try to have people on the lot with flashlights to help people to come in,” Cook said.

Price of admission, Dudley said, is, “Any monetary donation toward the shipping cost of a shoebox, items that can be used in filling a shoebox, a handwritten note from you to a child to be included in a shoebox, or a packed shoebox for a boy or girl.”

Dudley recommends checking the website for Samaritan’s Purse or Operation Christmas Child to get ideas of the kinds of items to be included in a shoebox. No liquids, lotions, military toys, toothpaste or food items can be included.