I am writing to thank The Herald-Dispatch readers for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children around the world. The generosity of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky residents enabled the area teams to collect more than 36,000 gift-filled shoeboxes packed for Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. U.S. and international efforts, including Germany, Australia, Canada, U.K., and other sending countries, resulted in life-changing gifts for 10,569,405 children around the world.

Through shoeboxes packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, area churches, schools, community groups and families brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

It’s not too early for people to make a difference. Though dropoff locations are closed until Nov. 16-23, 2020, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by beginning to collect items to pack or to plan packing parties at churches, schools, community groups or with friends and family.

Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling Huntington Area coordinator Rebecca Parker-Moore at 774-641-2784 or Southern Ohio area coordinator Sherrie Klingaman at 740-395-6468.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project — many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Gaylene St. Leger Cox

Portsmouth, Ohio

Huntington is safe for drug dealers

Huntington is safer for drug dealers. The same ones keep operating for years with impunity. I can count 10 drug dealers that live in a two-block radius of my home on 11th Avenue. I am tired of turning in license plate numbers. I am tired of cops coming to my house and telling me to enforce the law by copying parking laws out of the West Virginia driver’s manual and place it on the offender’s windshield, who by the way is a drug dealer.

Police patrol is nonexistent. Yes, we the citizens are safer by hiding in our house when it gets dark and buying guns for the first time to defend ourselves.

Welcome, drug dealers. Make Huntington home. You are safe from the cops!

Judy Stephenson


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