Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes now being collected

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By KATIE JUSTICE, kjustice@clickthepaper.com

Operation Christmas Child is looking to surpass 100 million shoe boxes packed and distributed since the program began in 1993, and three area churches are helping to meet that goal.

Operation Christmas Child, or OCC, is an effort started by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization.

OCC invites volunteers to fill a shoe box with toys, school supplies and other items to be distributed to be delivered to a child in need countries around the world.

“Samaritan’s Purse is a very effective and compassionate organization. Operation Christmas Child is a project that almost anyone can be involved with, that will effectively show love and kindness to children around the world,” said the Rev. Chris Parkin, pastor at Auburn First Baptist Church.

CrossView Church on Highway 124 in Hoschton and First Presbyterian Church on West Candler Street in Winder, will be accepting filled shoebox donations during national collection week, Nov. 12-19.

CrossView Church will have be accepting boxes from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 13, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 5-7 p.m. on Friday, and then from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Nov. 17, through Monday, Nov. 19.

First Presbyterian Church in Winder will be accepting shoeboxes from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, through Friday, Nov. 16, 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Sunday, and 9-10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 19.

To make and donate a shoebox, one must first choose what age child the box will go to and whether the box is for a boy or girl. A label listing these choices can be printed at www.samaritanspurse.org.

Next, the box is filled with suitable gifts, a list of which can be found on the website. A $7 donation should be included to help cover the cost of shipping and cover other project costs.

If that donation is made online, shoebox donators can follow their shoebox to its destination through the website.

Lastly, the box should be secured with a rubber band and dropped off.

The gifts will be given to needy children throughout the world, who will also be taught about Jesus Christ and the gift which God gave to mankind.