On Dec.10, four paralegals from Ted A. Greve and Associates in North Carolina went to lend a hand at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Charlotte. They put together a box for a boy between the ages of 9 and 14 and were eager to place it with the others going somewhere to a child in need. The paralegals – Theresa Hilse, Laura Matthews, Dawn Hemby and Annette Church – joined a few thousand other volunteers gathered that evening at the warehouse to get the boxes ready for shipment to the children.
Prior to reaching the Charlotte warehouse or one of the organization’s other locations across the country, each gift box is prepared by an individual or group specifically for a girl or boy of a certain age. The donors fill them with articles for needy children across the globe. Each shoebox has an assortment of toys, school supplies, hygiene and toiletry items, clothing, shoes, socks and hard candy and chewing gum.
Volunteers at the Charlotte processing center had a wide array of areas in which to assist the organization. Each box had to be inspected, packed and prepared for shipment. There was even a “shoe box hospital” for those that needed a bit of repair.
Hilse, Matthews, Hemby and Church worked with others on an inspection and packaging team. Afterwards, paralegal Laura Matthews said “I’m so glad we did this. We must come back next year.”
“There is joy all around you, from the minute you open the door,” noted another volunteer.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has placed 77 million gift boxes in the hands of boys and girls in dire circumstances. These children live in 130 countries, from the mountains of North Carolina to the Philippines and beyond. In 2009, 8 million children received a box.