BOWLING GREEN — While most people in America are preparing for holiday activities, Caroline County volunteers with Operation Christmas Child—the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind — are filling shoe boxes with toys, school supplies, personal hygiene products, and other gifts for needy children overseas.
This year-round project of the international Christian relief and evangelism organization, Samaritan’s Purse, which is headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect 2,400 gift-filled shoe boxes Nov. 12-19.
Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at the Bowling Green-area collection site, Calvary Baptist Church at 120 Milford St. The shoe boxes will be delivered to needy children in 100 countries.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone—collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9 million gift-filled shoe boxes.
Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many children, the shoe box gift will be the first gift they have ever received.
The church will collect fillled show boxes according to the following schedule: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Monday, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesday, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday. Additional local collection sites can be found using the online zip code locator at www.samaritanspurse.org.
Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to “follow” their box to the destination country where it will be given to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out the destination country, use the ‘Follow Your Box’ donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (410) 772-7360.