On November 21st, members of The Becoming Center donated 527 Christmas gifts for Operation Christmas Child, an effort managed by the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. The effort calls on volunteers to pack items in neatly wrapped shoeboxes, which are sent to children in crisis areas throughout the world. The Becoming Center’s more than 1,300 members include members of the public, and residents and staff of Artman, an Ambler senior community center.

“The holiday season provides an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we are, and to give back. Our members and staff do a great job of coordinating everything, and our community is thrilled to be part of such a wonderful outreach program,” said Anthony Byers, director of The Becoming Center. “Operation Christmas Child brings joy to children who face extraordinary challenges on a daily basis, through no fault of their own. We are grateful to be able to help those who are less fortunate.”

In 2017, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 12 million children in countries like Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine. Nearly 11.5 million shoebox gifts were collected worldwide in 2016, with more than 9.1 million collected in the U.S. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 146 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

“Simple gifts like these make such a difference in the lives of children in need.  Beyond meeting basic needs, a shoebox gift can give a child hope, love and even perhaps the opportunity to attend school,” said Lucas Zellers, media relations coordinator for Samaritan’s Purse.

Learn more about the Becoming Center and see our list of both land and aquatic classes at BecomingCenter.org.

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