Heartland residents spread holiday joy with Operation Christmas - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland residents spread holiday joy with Operation Christmas Child

Hundreds of people dropped of shoe-boxes filled with gifts as a part of Operation Christmas Child. Hundreds of people dropped of shoe-boxes filled with gifts as a part of Operation Christmas Child.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

People across the Heartland are spreading a little holiday joy this week.

It's all a part of national collection week for Operation Christmas Child.

The nationwide program is where people pack shoe boxes with little toys, knick knacks and toiletries to send around the world to those that might not get gifts this holiday season.

Many Southeast Missouri State students helped organize the gifts to be shipped at St. Andrew Lutheran Church.

One of those volunteers was Sherwin Christian.

Just four years ago, Christian was in India when Operation Christmas Child distributed the shoe box gifts.

Christian had the chance to volunteer and give gifts to the children

He said it was an experience he'll never forget.

"Most of them were very poor," Christian said. "And like when the opened the gifts I could literally see some of the parents crying, tears of joy and stuff. Because some of the kids were receiving it maybe for the first time in their life, while some have received the only time in their life."

Christian said it was an experience that truly warmed his heart.

"It's something really great," Christian said. "I mean it's so much fun to give, to donate because when you see someone on the receiving end, when you see that happiness on their face it just fills your heart."

Hundreds of people have dropped off their gift boxes at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.

The drop-off location has already surpassed the number of boxes they received last year.

Residents in the southeast Missouri area have donated more than 3,560 boxes so far.

Collection continues until Monday.

You can find out how to participate in Operation Christmas Child here.

Drop off locations are across the Heartland.

Click here to find the closest one to you.

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