Operation Christmas Child locally brought in a record 1,409 shoeboxes of gifts, 384 more than last year, coordinator Susan Paine said this week.
Wrapped shoeboxes stuffed with goodies came from benefactors throughout the county — with 954 from Marion, including Aulne United Methodist Church; 373 from Hillsboro and Tabor College; 42 from Canton; and 40 from Durham, Paine said.
Paine, who has volunteered with Operation Christmas Child for 11 years, oversaw collection of the gifts at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro. Rod’s Tire in Hillsboro donated use of a trailer to haul the gifts to Wichita.
From Wichita, the gifts will be sent to Denver, then transported to needy children in Mexico.
Eastmoor United Methodist Church sent boxes to a different relay center in years past but used the Hillsboro site this year, helping increase the total, Paine said.
Operation Christmas Child is part of Samaritan’s Purse, a non-denominational evangelical Christian relief organization.