Seasonal excitement was in abundance when Quarry Community Church members completed their first-ever Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party.
According to organizer Kristi DeCamillis, around 100 people participated in the Nov. 16 event, which lasted about two hours.
“We had a great response from folks young and old, as well as families and singles,” DeCamillis said. “Over the years, Quarry has gathered gift shoeboxes, but this year, we wanted to make it make it more of a community event to help get people excited about Operation Christmas Child. We decided on a packing party not only because it would be fun , but also because we could accomplish more good together.”
According to DeCamillis, little kids joined adults to pack boxes, and the write-a-note table was always busy with people writing Christmas Cards to include in the gift boxes. “Kids of all ages were able to pack multiple boxes, and they were able to take in a VeggieTales Christmas movie and snacks in their spare moments,” she said. “One little girl came up eight times to get a shoebox.”
Quarry Community Church started in Fall 2001 and has grown to 400 people, DeCamillis said. “We attract a lot of young families who like a modern approach to church, and we tend to be known locally for being the people who throw out the hotdogs each year at the Monticello Riverfest parade,” DeCamillis said. “We moved into our own office and ministry center space just last year while we continue to hold our Sunday services in the Monticello Middle School auditorium.”
DeCamillis said she’s always filled one or two Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes each year with her family, but after hearing a first-hand account of how an Operation Christmas Child shoebox changed a life in our own community (via a Russian orphanage), DeCamillis said she saw incredible possibilities for life-changing service. “It’s such a unique ministry where you get to place your hands on something that will literally reach the hands of a child in need,” she said. “Nothing else I know of gets you that consistently close to the that kids you want to help. A packing party at Quarry just seemed like a great way to do a lot!”
Approximately 140 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes were packing during Quarry Community Church’s Nov. 16 event, DeCamillis said in a recent email.
Contact Tim Hennagir at [email protected]