This year’s goal set at 8,000 Shoe Boxes Packed House On Hand To Kick Off Operation Christmas Child Program


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Left to right: Paula and Dr. Chris Sewell, Coordinators for the Operation Christmas Child project in Fentress County with guest speaker Lejla Allison at the kickoff of the event last week.

After reaching their goal of more than 7,000 shoe boxes for the Operation Christmas Child program, local program coordinators Dr. Chris and Paula Sewell are raising this year’s goal to 8,000 boxes.
Following a “packed house” kickoff held on Tuesday, September 17 at the Jamestown First Baptist Church, Paula Sewell commented:  “It was awesome.  You could feel the excitement.”
Mrs. Sewell commented that due to the success of the program here over the past few years, that their collection area has been expanded.
“Our goal this year is 8,000, but we’re hoping to hit 10,001, and I feel that we can.  The Jamestown First Baptist Church is the collection center for 6 surrounding counties, and we have established relay centers at Alive in the Spirit North in Byrdstown, and the Clarkrange Baptist Church in the south end of Fentress County,” she said.
This year’s guest speaker for the kickoff event was Lejla Allison, who was born in Bosnia, and received her Operation Christmas Child shoe box as an 11-year-old, which was a life-changing experience for her, and gave  a heart-wrenching testimony of her life in the war-torn country, and how receiving the shoe box changed her life.
Mrs. Allison, who now lives in Pennsylvania, gave the Courier an interview prior to the kick-off event, which follows:

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