Our View: Get your giving in early

Summer may still be several weeks away — in fact, it just recently started feeling like spring — but that makes it the perfect time to start thinking about spreading some Christmas cheer across the globe.

That is exactly mission of two local volunteers who continue to lead a regional effort for Operation Christmas Child, a year-round project that spreads goodwill and faith throughout the world.

Coordinated by Teresa Hodgkin and Sharon Brush, in cooperation with Winchester’s First Baptist Church on Highland Street, this has grown to have a profound impact that is difficult to even measure.

Last year, that local effort that includes Clark and five other counties gathered 10,500 boxes that were sent overseas as an outreach effort to help children. Organizers are hoping to top that by at least 1,100 boxes this year.

In most cases it will be months before people start to think about Christmas, and that is what makes this a perfect time to lend a hand.

Starting to think about this effort now offers a great jumpstart on the humanitarian initiatives long before we hit the fierce competition of the giving season and the holidays. This allows citizens to space out their financial commitments or donations.

Operation Christmas Child, which is part of Samaritan’s Purse, will really get going this fall.

The boxes, which are packed by groups or individuals, can include a wide variety of items including clothes, toy cars, stickers, sunglasses, toothbrushes, school supplies or small games among many, many other things before being shipped to children in need around the globe. Each box also includes information about Jesus Christ in the recipient’s native language.

If you aren’t ready to help out now, the opportunity will certainly come later in the year when the most volunteers are needed.

For more information about Operation Christmas Child, go to www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child.

Thinking ahead can brighten the holidays for youth across the world this Christmas.