Ashe County’s Operation Christmas Child relay center at First Baptist Church reported 1,556 shoe boxes were donated by the deadline on Nov. 19.
This was First Baptist Church’s inaugural year as Ashe County’s relay center for Operation Christmas Child.
According to Laura McClure, the relay center’s coordinator, the total amount of shoe boxes collected more than doubled from last year.
“To see how the shoe box total has increased is really amazing,” said McClure.
“I want to say thank you to all the volunteers who counted boxes and to the ladies who prepared snacks for our volunteers. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible,” said McClure.
A local youth group called Generation Excellent helped count and load the shoe boxes into a box truck provided by Hometown Furniture, which transported the shoe boxes to Boone’s collection center. The Boone collection center is located at 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, and accepts shoe boxes year-round.
When their not assisting with shoe box collection, Generation Excellent is a touring choir and drama group based in Ashe County, comprised of 19 home-schooled students.
“Experience the true meaning of Christmas with Generation Excellent, as they present a powerful Christmas Program entitled “We Have Our Savior,” said a press release from the group.
Their candle light program ends with a special dedication and prayer for the children who will be receiving the shoe boxes. People who attend will be able to bring shoe boxes they have collected, or take home an empty box to fill.
According to the press release, Generation Excellent has already assisted three area churches with their shoe box collection.
There are two more opportunities to attend this dedication service: Beaver Creek Christian Church on Wednesday, Nov. 28, and Baldwin Community Church on Sunday, Dec. 2. Both services will be held at 6:00 p.m.
“Generation Excellent is becoming well known in the High Country for their moving program “Totally Surrendered” which has been performed at numerous local churches,” said the release.
Members of Generation Excellent who volunteered on Nov. 19 include Caleb Starbuck, Haley Bare, Caroline Bare, Jordan Bare, Josiah Kolseth, Caleb Miller, Quinn Privette, Owen Kolseth, Faith Padgett, Leah Privette, Seth Starbuck, Noelle Miller, Shayla Miller, Alston Hart, Kristen Testerman, and Zoe Starbuck.
More information about Generation Excellent can be found at http://asheconnect.com/genx/.