Local student supports holiday gift program

Submitted photo Kendall Flynn, an Elkins Middle School seventh-grader, supports the Operation Christmas Child program by boxing up 176 boxes this holiday season. The care packages are sent to children in 150 countries around the world.

ELKINS — This time of year is a time of giving, caring and loving. One local girl took the meaning of giving to heart and amazed everyone around her by getting involved in the Operation Christmas Child program.

The program helps spread the gospel and share Christ and love with others. Care packages, or boxes, are packed in November and sent to children all over the world in 150 countries. These boxes get delivered to children ages 2 to 14 by trucks, buses, planes, camels and even on foot.

Kendall Flynn, an Elkins Middle School seventh-grader and daughter of Heidi Hawkins and Scott Flynn, set a personal goal of filling 150 boxes.

“A year ago at the Elkins Church of the Nazarene, they were talking about Operation Christmas Child,” said Kendall. “I decided I wanted to help children all over the world get stuff for Christmas and spread love. It made me sad to think that kids would not have things like toys, crayons, etc.”

Kendall had helped her church pack boxes before, and this Nov. 11, she surpassed her personal goal of filling 150 boxes. She finished with 176 boxes for the program.

The Elkins Church of the Nazarene packed 3,000 boxes total.

“There were a lot of people who helped me out along the way that I would like to thank — my mom, my aunt, my grandparents and my mom’s friend Hannah Cutright; my soccer coach, Sarah Ware, and a lady who has sons that race with my stepdad. I’d also like to thank Ms. Mary Johnson, who helped me get labels and boxes and the business Mufflers, Brakes & More.”

Next year, Kendall’s brother Ty Flynn, who is a junior at Elkins High School, plans to take over and lead the Operational Christmas Child project.

Kendall would like to start making “Kendall Care Kits” for the Randolph County Humane Society. She wants to have a kit for each dog and cat so that the new owner will have it to take home when adopting an animal.