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One family’s love, devotion fill 413 boxes of toys

By Kay S. Pedrotti Of the more than 3,000 Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes from Lamar County, 405 of them were packed by one extended family. Another eight went with their children and grandchildren to other churches. Bobby and Ginny Passmore of Barnesville, five of their married children,10 grandchildren and Ginny’s parents all were involved in the years-long search for appropriate and affordable toys, personal hygiene items, school supplies, stuffed animals and other goodies shipped out last week from First Baptist Church. The Passmores are former FBC members now attending Devotie Baptist in Griffin. They have been concentrating on increasing the total shoeboxes filled as much as possible each year for the last six. Ginny, at first reluctant to talk about their continuing work with the mission program, finally was convinced that ‘if it serves to inspire other people to get involved and do the same thing, that’s okay.’ She does not believe in ‘getting a lot of credit for working for the Lord,’ but the project is a joyful one for her and for her family, one she would like to see grow and grow to include more people. All year long, Bobby, Ginny and the others shop thrift stores, yard sales and discount houses for bargains on bulk purchases of things such as toothbrushes, combs, pencils and pens, soap, washcloths and other items like stuffed animals, small toys, puzzles and shippable balls to play with. ’I use our guest room closet for a lot of the items, but by October the entire guest room is full,’ said Ginny. ‘It’s a great ministry. If you ever watch the videos (from Samaritan’s Purse), you can see how the shoebox gift impacts not just one child, but the family and the whole community. I believe in the value of the shoebox project.’ Bobby gets involved in the process too, having once made spinning tops with wooden wheels and dowels. It’s his job every year to print the box labels ‘while they’re still flat’ to designate whether boys’ or girls’ gifts are inside, Ginny said. Some of her grandchildren have woven bracelets on small looms; Ginny’s parents send money to Samaritan’s Purse for shipping costs. ‘We get together before the trip to First Baptist, so we know who has 400 combs, who has 400 bars of soap, and so forth, so we know what might be needed. We move all the living room furniture aside and put tables down the middle of the room. When we have finished our goal, the grandchildren each get to fill a shoebox however they want and take it to their churches. The project does takes up a lot of room in our house, but it brings us together and strengthens us as a family who loves the Lord.’

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