OCC kicks off

Chris Johnson, Southeast Area Coordinator of Operation Christmas Child, has been involved with the local shoebox distribution campaign for over 17 years.

Christmas may be a few months away, but local organizers of Operation Christmas Child (OCC), an annual campaign that helps impoverished children, are already hard at work.

OCC, an international, Christian-based project of Samaritan’s Purse, is holding its local 2019 kick-off event from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday.

Located at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2145 S. Coronado Drive in Sierra Vista, this year’s guest speaker is Nancy Muwanas-Arias, who grew up in the Middle East.

Since OCC’s launch in 1993, every year organizers turn to communities across the country and other parts of the world to fill shoeboxes with items that are given to children living in impoverished conditions across the globe. Churches, civic organizations, businesses, schools and individuals fill shoeboxes for children who range from 2 to 14 years old.

Through this shoebox campaign, more than 157 million children have been provided with gift-filled shoeboxes.

The 2019 shoebox collection goal for Arizona’s Southeast region, which includes Cochise, Graham and Greenlee counties is 9,500.

“Every year, I am deeply touched by the generosity of the people in this area,” said Chris Johnson, the project’s Southeast Arizona area coordinator.

For information, contact Ken Keehn at 801-419-5091 or Larry Johnson at 520-255-0440, or email LC3124Johnson@gmail.com.

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