Year-round Volunteer: Building Church Partners

Dally Quintana serves in church relations for Operation Christmas Child in the Chicago area.

Building Church Partners

Year-round volunteer builds relationships with congregations on behalf of Operation Christmas Child.

Dally Quintana serves as the church relations coordinator in Chicago, where she leads a team of volunteers to promote Operation Christmas Child among their congregations.

Dally and her husband, Hector, began volunteering with Operation Christmas Child in 2012 and have packed shoeboxes for over 17 years. They started out as project leaders in their church, then co-coordinators of a central drop-off location. In 2017, Hector became the logistics coordinator, and Dally became the church relations coordinator for the Chicago Area Team.

Both are career educators—Dally currently as a 5th grade teacher in the city public school system and Hector as the principal of a Christian school. That experience has proven highly valuable for Dally, who likens her role as coordinator to being a coach or mentor.

“I enjoy working with the project leaders and getting them more motivated. They are already passionate about what they do. But sometimes they get discouraged, especially when they don’t see as much participation as they hoped for,” she said.

“It’s a joy to be a part of this ministry, and I don’t think I am as passionate about anything else like I am Operation Christmas Child.”
Dally Quintana

“When we give them the latest information about Operation Christmas Child and what’s happening around the world through the project, they feel more knowledgeable and comfortable bringing that information to their churches. We also give them the opportunity to share their ideas so they can learn from each other how to make the outreach better at their churches.”

In the last few years, the team has made it a priority to communicate to churches that Operation Christmas Child is about much more than giving a shoebox gift to a needy child. “We need to make that clear to the churches, that this ministry is about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that there’s a follow-up program, The Greatest Journey, after the child receives a shoebox,” she added.

Husband and wife team Hector and Dally Quintana enjoy serving together with Operation Christmas Child in Chicago.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Dally especially focuses on building relationships with Hispanic congregations in her area.

“I have maintained good relationships with these churches,” Dally said, noting she’s enjoyed packing shoeboxes alongside them. “They have also expressed interest in becoming drop-off centers.”

Dally’s four-member church relations team stays in contact with pastors from the 30-plus churches and three schools in the area that participate in Operation Christmas Child. After collection season, they send thank-you cards to people who packed shoebox gifts and to project leaders who spearhead shoebox collection for their church or group. They also speak at churches and hold events that bring these leaders together for a meal and inspirational testimonies from former shoebox recipients.

“When you are speaking at a church, you know that some people will be touched by the ministry and then they will get involved,” Dally said. “It’s a joy to be a part of this ministry, and I don’t think I am as passionate about anything else like I am Operation Christmas Child.”