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United Methodist churches throughout Washington and Greene counties that together form Greater Team Ministries recently delivered 400 shoeboxes filled with toys, hygiene products and other items to the First Church of the Nazarene in Waynesburg for distribution worldwide.

The Greater Team Ministries recently gifted its largest Operation Christmas Child donation to date.

The six United Methodist churches throughout Washington and Greene counties that together form GTM recently delivered 400 shoeboxes filled with toys, hygiene products and other items to the First Church of the Nazarene in Waynesburg for distribution worldwide.

Since GTM began collecting stuffed animals and toys, toothbrushes and notebooks, and other items for Operation Christmas Child in 2010 – that year, they collected 62 boxes – the group has increased its number of donations annually.

This year, GTM set out to fill 366 shoeboxes. Volunteers from churches in Jefferson, Rice’s Landing, Fredericktown, Denbo, Howe and Roscoe spent time throughout the year opening packages and organizing items. Donations from those churches, along with 34 boxes from the community, brought GTM’s total number of shoeboxes collected to 400.

“Each year we have increased the number of shoeboxes we have filled,” Susan Christopher wrote in an email. “Because our six churches continue to work together with a common goal that helps to make each year more successful.”

The boxes, filled with gifts, were displayed in the windows of Jefferson United Methodist Church in Clairton before being sent to First Church of the Nazarene.

From there, donations are sent to a volunteer processing center to ensure all included items are appropriate for kids.

Then they’re shipped to children in need around the world, in time for Christmas.

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