DADE CITY, Fla. - Parishioners at First Baptist Church in Dade City are helping children have a Merry Christmas by supplying gifts.
Operation Christmas Child gives shoeboxes packed with goodies like school supplies, toys, and basic necessities to kids in developing countries.
"It's just a way of giving to children," said church member Polly Ham. "I was a school teacher and children are very special to me."
This is the third year the church has participated in the outreach.
"It just makes your heart swell up with thanksgiving because God has provided all of this for us," explained Doti Holmes.
First Baptist Church members pack gift boxes for needy children.
They gave away more than 1,300 boxes last year.
"It just makes your heart feel good," Doti said.
"We have a lot of groups come in. We bring our children in. They pack shoeboxes. It's a way of teaching them how to give. How to give to others," said Polly.
It's a lesson of giving the congregation is learning.
"They get to learn that joy of giving," said member Francine Hancock. "They get to visualize a child opening their box in some foreign country and the smile on their face."
The boxes included school supplies, toiletries, and toys.