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Churches, volunteers unite for less fortunate in Pahrump region

More than 2,200 shoeboxes brimming with items of necessity is what officials from Operation Christmas Child and the non-denominational organization Samaritan’s Purse, collected and distributed this holiday season.

According to its website, Samaritan’s Purse has for decades helped to meet the needs of families and individuals by annually providing spiritual and physical aid to people around the world.

Locally, Operation Christmas Child’s Michele Grabley, is the coordinator for Pahrump’s shoebox drop-off center at Trinity Assembly of God Church.

This year, the project’s collection week occurred in mid-November, where local volunteers transformed simple shoeboxes into gifts of hope, filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys.

“We are honored to join the nationwide effort to collect gift-filled shoeboxes for children who have never experienced the true meaning of Christmas said Regional Director Nathan Bates. “Though these are simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them.”

Grabley, meanwhile, said more than 900 of the total 2,237 shoeboxes were packed at Trinity Assembly of God this year alone.

“In addition to the churches who participated last year, the new churches this year are, Calvary Chapel, Heritage Bible Church, New Hope Fellowship, and St. Martin’s Episcopal Church,” she said. “Employees from Pahrump Valley Auto Plaza also packed shoeboxes for the first time this year. We also had a local dentist’s office participating this year. We see this program as being a ‘Missionary in a Box.’”

Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped to make a positive difference in the lives of those in need.

The organization was founded by the Billy Graham Association.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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