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Former ‘Christmas Child’ sharing experience

1741US-D8: Vladimir Prokhnevskiy from Ukraine

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

If you’ve ever wondered whether filling shoeboxes with gifts and donating them to Operation Christmas Child is worth your time and effort, Pulaski County residents soon have the unique chance to find out firsthand.

Vladimir Prokhnevskiy, who received a Christmas shoebox as a child living in Ukraine, is visiting Pulaski Church of God on Bob White Boulevard in Pulaski Friday, Sept. 21. He will share with the community how that simple gift changed his life.

The public is invited to come hear the now 31-year-old’s story at 7 p.m.

Pulaski County residents have participated in Operation Christmas Child for years. In fact, last Christmas the community contributed 3,148 shoebox gifts that were distributed to children in need worldwide, says Cassie Roberts, media relations associate with program founder Samaritan’s Purse.

Roberts said Pulaski’s contributions were part of over 17,600 boxes donated in the New River Valley area alone.

According to Roberts, the box Prokhnevskiy received was more than just a box filled with gifts. “It was a powerful reminder that God loved him and he was not forgotten,” she said.

Prokhnevskiy now shares his story of hope with millions of children affected by poverty, natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease and famine.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief and evangelism organization lead by Franklin Graham. More than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes have been distributed to needy children in more than 160 countries and territories since the program’s founding in 1993.

National Collection Week for the shoebox gifts is Nov. 12-19 this year.

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