Ministry Gives Back with Operation Christmas Child

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Across the country volunteers are teaming up with Rev. Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse to stuff shoe boxes full of gifts for the needy.

The ministry is called "Operation Christmas Child," and for recipient turned volunteer Tonya Poteet, the gesture hits close to home.

"I remember there were about 15 of us sitting in a circle, and just having that feeling when you get your first gift. That was my first gift ever," she said. "Just being part of Operation Christmas Child now, I feel like I've received one of those gift boxes and now it's my turn to give back."

Supporters can visit the Operation Christmas Child website to "build-a-box" full of goodies for children around the world. 

There are options to choose a boy or girl, specific age group, and then gifts like stuffed animals, a watch, toy car, and harmonica.  Essential toiletry items and school supplies are already included.

The gifts also provide an opportunity for the children to learn about Jesus.

"I want these children to know God loves them, that Christ died for them. That He rose from the grave, and He can come into their heart and He can make a change in their life for eternity," Graham told CBN News.

"We want the children in the world to know the true meaning of Christmas. It's about God's love," he added.

For many kids, the carefully filled shoe box will be their very first Christmas gift.

*Originally aired on December 22, 2011.

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