Operation Christmas Child begins
Nov. 1, 2012 — While most people in the U.S. are preparing for holiday activities, Susanville volunteers with Operation Christmas Child - the world's largest Christmas project of its kind - are filling shoebox gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas.
This year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization, Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect more than 750 gift-filled shoeboxes during National Collection Week, Nov. 12 through 19.
Anyone can drop off a packed shoebox at the Susanville-area collection site. Then, using whatever means necessary - trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants - the shoebox gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world. Susanville collection site: Community Evangelical Free Church, 110 N Gay St.; call (800) 353-5949 for questions.
Operating hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Nov. 12 through 15; from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16; from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17; from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18; Monday they are not collecting.
Additional local collection sites can be found using the online Zip code locator at samaritanspurse.org.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone - collecting and delivering shoeboxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. During that time, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 94 million shoebox gifts and hand-delivered them to suffering children in more than 130 countries.
This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9 million gift-filled shoeboxes. 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 shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received. 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 shoebox gifts and find out the destination country, use the “Follow Your Box” donation form found at samaritanspurse.org/occ. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (714) 432-7030 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 12 through 19; however, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan's Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.
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