Tennessee River District churches pack and deliver 741 Christmas shoe boxes for United Methodist missionaries to distribute to children


Lisa Cole, custodian at Camden First United Methodist Church in Camden, Tennessee and Tennessee River District volunteer, seals some of 741 Christmas shoe boxes now making their way to children for Christmas 2020. Find link to story right below. (Submitted photo) Click on link at top or bottom of story to view lots more photos.

See volunteers at work on this project.

United Methodist churches in the Tennessee River District packaged 741 Christmas shoe boxes full of small gifts and supplies destined for children in developing countries where United Methodist missionaries and pastors serve.

After six weeks of work that began in late August, the shoe boxes were delivered Oct. 1 to the Shoe Box Ministry operated out of the United Methodist Disaster Relief Warehouse in Decatur, Alabama.

The warehouse developed and coordinates the ministry along with its other work collecting and distributing emergency supplies for disaster survivors.

This is the second year the Tennessee River District has participated in the Christmas Shoe Box Ministry. Last year 424 boxes were delivered.

“As we become more organized and familiar with this project, our giving has increased,” reported Beverlyann Jetton, the district’s volunteer coordinator for the project, for which there also were coordinators in each of the district’s geographical counties.

Jetton, a member of Forest Heights United Methodist Church in Jackson, Tennessee, said, “Since so many of our members are not getting out yet, most gave money toward the project and one person did the shopping. We had several ‘boxing’ parties (during) which members helped put the finishing touches on packing the boxes.”

About a packing party at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Reagan, Tennessee, Jetton said, “They had a very organized packing party with tables with supplies divided by age groups, and a quality control person who double-checked each box before sealing. Most importantly, they had a crew manning the grill cooking hot dogs and hamburgers.”

Members of Liberty United Methodist Church in Scotts Hill, Tennessee, joined the packing party at Ebenezer as co-sponsors of the event. The two churches are together in a charge and do much of their ministry and missions together," reported Rev. Charla Burnette, pastor of the two churches.

Explaining the United Methodist ministry based in the North Alabama Conference, Jetton said it was begun in 2012 and last year shipped 13,000 boxes to children ages 2 to 12 in nine countries. Unfortunately, the total number of boxes this year is expected to be less due to the pandemic, she added.

To learn more about the Shoe Box Ministry, volunteer or donate, call 256-341-9961 or CLICK HERE.

~Compiled by Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications, Memphis Conference, The United Methodist Church

See volunteers at work on this project.