Call it children helping children. A youth group in Whiteville is in the giving spirit; trying to make a difference in the lives of kids all over the world this holiday. All these volunteers need is some tape, shoe boxes and plenty of hands to make a difference this holiday season for children they've never even met. It is called Operation Christmas Child, an outreach program by Samaritan's Purse Ministry. Dozens of volunteers are packing up shoe boxes filled with donated toys and toiletries. They will be shipped overseas to children in one hundred countries. Coordinator, Wendy Hood said, "We've seen a 25 percent increase in show boxes since last year, so we are thrilled to pieces." More than 3,000 shoe boxes have been stuffed and loaded on to a truck, in hopes of brightening a child's holiday spirit. "You think about countries where they are in devastated areas from floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, we can't even fathom the kind of poverty and situations those people are dealing with. We are blessed and we have the opportunity to give our blessings back," said Hood. Many here already feel blessed, knowing they're making a difference for other children miles away. "It makes you feel good to know that you can help somebody who is need," said Madison Creech, a volunteer for Operation Christmas Child. Avery Ashley, also a volunteer said, "Hopefully it will make a big difference and make an good impact to help a lot of kids." "It's more important for me the help other people. I'm really happy as a person and I get a lot that I don't deserve so I like giving back," added Kyle Hood. The goal of Operation Christmas Child is to collect 8 million shoe boxes throughout the state.
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