Awesome local effort fills 816 shoeboxes for children

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

From Staff Reports

The Marshall County effort as a shoe box collection center for Operation Christmas Child has been described as "awesome" by Randy Hankins of Hohenwald. Hankins and his wife Tracy are the area coordinators for OCC which covers eight surrounding counties in the South Central district.

Mt. Moriah Baptist Church was selected by Hankins to be the local collection center from Nov. 17 through 24. Marshall County churches and individuals packed 816 shoe boxes. The shoe boxes were then taken to Hohenwald and from there on to Atlanta, Ga. where they will be sorted and inspected for shipment overseas.

The shoe boxes prepared by local residents and churches are destined for such places as Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, the Congo, Mali, and points beyond. Hankins said that in all, the South Central district collected 10,093 shoe boxes. Due to time, and distance, the shoe boxes may arrive at their appointed locations by March or April.

Katie Hargrove, Mt. Moriah's coordinator of the shoe box preparation, was overjoyed with the number of shoe boxes and the local support.

"Ms. Katie Hargrove and Bro. Paul Lucas were two of the most enthusiastic people my wife and I had ever met," said Hankins. "Mt.Moriah was definitely the place to put a relay center."

"Ms. Katie," as she is known in the community, acknowledged her appreciation for the more than 40 volunteers who staffed the collection center throughout the week. Operation Christmas Child has been Ms. Katie's passion for a number of years since doing mission work in Africa many years ago. She's seen firsthand how little children in these far reaches of the world have.

"These are children who have never seen a toy, never tasted candy, have never known Jesus, or shown any sort of kindness. My prayer," Ms. Katie tearfully said, "Is that every child wherever they are and wherever the boxes go, that every single child gets a shoe box. No child should be without."

Ms. Katie continues to be humbled by the OCC shoe box experience. As she cradled a shoe box, she said, "Just think for a minute. These shoe boxes today leave our hands, and go to God's hands, and then into the hands of a child somewhere in this world."

If individuals and churches would like to begin their own shoe box experience call Katie Hargrove at (931) 359-3124 for information.