HUNTINGTON - Rebecca Parker-Moore says the simple act of giving to a child in need brings so much joy.

"Giving to a child in need is the best feeling ever," she said.

Parker-Moore is the area coordinator for the Huntington Area Operation Christmas Child team and says donations are being collected now for the program, which is the largest children's ministry in the world.

On Monday, Sept. 16, Texas Roadhouse on U.S. 60 in Huntington will host a fundraiser dine to donate night from 2:30 to 10 p.m. with 10% of proceeds going directly to Operation Christmas Child.

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Huntington Area Operation Christmas Child team in partnership with Texas Roadhouse will host a shoebox packing party at the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington at 3:30 p.m. at the Guyandotte location, 520 Everett St. in Huntington.

"If you would like to donate, you can drop off items at Texas Roadhouse at 3100 Route 60 in Huntington from now until Sept. 15, from 2:30 to 10 p.m.," Parker-Moore said. "Items dropped off will enable customers to receive a free appetizer."

Parker-Moore says suggested donations include school supplies, small toys, stuffed animal, and hygiene items. No liquids, toothpaste or candy is allowed, she said.

The donations are shipped and delivered to children in need all over the world. Since 1993, nearly 168 million shoeboxes have been distributed in more than 100 countries through the program.

"With National Collection Week just 10 weeks away, you have plenty of time to pack your shoebox," Parker-Moore said. "National Collection Week is always the third week of November. This year, there are over 10 drop-offs in the Tri-State waiting to accept your gift-filled boxes the week of Nov. 18-25."

Parker-Moore said the true goal of Operation Christmas Child is to spread and demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in a way that kids around the world, regardless of religion, age or language, can understand.

Before opening their shoeboxes, Parker-Moore said the children will hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"The ministry is all about Jesus," she said. "It is because of his love that we are doing this."

To find out more information, go online to www.samaritanpurse.org. For more information about National Collection Week or to get involved with Operation Christmas Child and its year-round volunteer opportunities, contact Parker-Moore at rparkermoore@hotmail.com.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter at @FredPaceHD.

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