Collection week for Operation Christmas Child begins

Published 11:03 am Monday, November 14, 2016

This week, churches participating in the Operation Christmas Child program from Samaritans Purse will be collecting shoeboxes filled with gifts for impoverished children overseas.

This year, Clark and surrounding counties hope to contribute 31,227 shoebox gifts toward the 2016 global goal of reaching 12 million children.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

According to a Samaritan’s Purse news release, the mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received, the release stated.

Teresa Hodgkin with First Baptist Church in Winchester said this year the church will be acting as a collection center for Clark, Madison and Estill counties.

“We have been a relay center for five years,” Hodgkin said. “But we’ve grown so much that they asked us to be a collection center.”

Drop off times at First Baptist will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 14-18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov.19-20 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 21.

JOIN THE EFFORT

PACK A SHOEBOX GIFT: Fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. By going online at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ to give the suggested shipping donation of $7 per shoebox gift, participants can print a shoebox label to affix to the top of their box and then later receive an email to discover where in the world it will be delivered.

DROP OFF A GIFT: National Collection Week for shoebox gifts is Nov. 14-21. First Baptist Church is located at 37 N. Highland St.