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Church embraces shoebox project
Holiday gifts spread joy, the Gospel
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Forsyth County News

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A Forsyth County church has found the Christmas spirit by nearly doubling its donation goal for an international program.

Members of Grace Baptist Church contributed more than 180 boxes to Operation Christmas Child, which sends shoebox gifts filled with hygiene items, school supplies, toys and other necessities to children in need around the world.

The project is run by international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse.

Maggie Weed, who headed up Grace Baptist’s project, said the small church had participated for several years but never topped 100 boxes.

“As the economy dwindled, so too did the boxes,” Weed said. “But we got busy on this project.”

She organized a packing party at the church and bought 100 boxes to put the donated items in.

“The party started at 11, and by noon we had to go buy more boxes,” Weed said. “It was a lofty project, but since the Lord was all over it, it just kept multiplying.”

She enjoys contributing to the project since it spreads the Gospel around the world and provides for children “who have nothing.”

As an example of that need, Weed noted that one of the suggested gifts for the children was ponchos, which can be used for shelter.

The donations from Grace Baptist will be sent out soon, just in time for the national collection week, which begins Monday.

For anyone else wanting to take part, Mountain Lake Church at 3105 Dahlonega Hwy. will serve as the Cumming drop-off location for Operation Christmas Child.

According to the project’s Web site, about 8 million children received shoeboxes last year. A local organizer estimated that about 2,000 are typically donated in Forsyth County.