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Samaritan's Purse has announced the number of shoebox gifts collected during its 2017 Operation Christmas Child campaign exceeded eleven million.
The international Christian charity revealed that 11,012,840 parcels - packed with toys, toiletries and school supplies - were donated to vulnerable children who might otherwise not have received a gift.
President and CEO, Franklin Graham wrote on Twitter: "Thank you to everyone who packed shoeboxes, prayed, and supported Samaritans Purse's Operation Christmas Child this year!
"You spread lots of smiles around the world!"
Thanking people who took part, Samaritan's Purse said: "We praise God for shoebox packers like you who joined the local church worldwide in sending Good News and Great Joy to children in need around the world."
Hundreds of churches across the UK take part by handing out empty shoeboxes and collecting those which had been filled with treats. Businesses including Shoezone also volunteered to be drop-off points.
Please join us in prayer over the transportation of these gifts, for the millions of children who will hear the Gospel at shoebox outreach events, and for the local church partners who facilitate gift-giving and The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program. (2/3) pic.twitter.com/MYRmAvbhCv— OCC Shoeboxes (@OCC_shoeboxes) January 26, 2018
Supporters are being urged by Samaritan's Purse to pray for a twelve-week Bible study course, The Greatest Journey, which all recipients of a shoebox gift are invited to attend.
More than 146 million youngsters in more than 150 nations have received a present from the Operation Christmas Child initiative since 1990.
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