Amanda Carr

Amanda Carr of Rhoadesville shows off a shoebox at an Operation Christmas Child distribution center in Maryland.

Amanda Carr of Rhoadesville first got involved with Operation Christmas Child nearly 20 years ago, when she was a middle-school student in northern Virginia. She and her family participated in the charity effort, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse and involving a great many churches whose members fill shoeboxes with school supplies, toiletries and games for needy children around the world. But Operation Christmas Child isn’t just about making sure hundreds of thousands of children have gifts on Christmas; it’s also about spreading the message of Christianity. In the communities where the boxes are distributed, a local church hosts the event and gets the word out to area children. When they come for the gifts, they also receive Bibles and instruction in the basic tenets of Christianity. After Carr married and moved to Orange County, she introduced the project to her new church, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, and now she leads the shoebox project, which takes place every November. “I think it helps me refocus on what this time of year is really about. It’s not about myself and presents; it’s about sharing what Christmas is really about,” Carr said. Looking back over all the years she has happily participated in Operation Christmas Child, the mother of a young son (with a baby on the way) said, “I love that I’m going to be able to continue that tradition with my own family.” 

Hilary Holladay covers education and politics for the Orange County Review. The author of five books, she is currently writing a biography of the poet Adrienne Rich.

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