Locals packing Christmas boxes for children

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Operation Christmas Child delivers joy, supplies to children in need

It's Operation Christmas Child time.

With Christmas just around the corner, individuals, families, churches and groups throughout the Cassville and Barry County area are packing joy, presents and supplies into special shoeboxes headed for children in need around the world.

Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 124 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 150 countries since 1993, and hopes to collect another 11 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2015. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

Children who may never have the opportunity to experience Christmas or receive a Christmas present, are elated to receive the boxes, which are packed with toys, school and hygiene supplies and notes of encouragement.

Anyone can easily fill and drop off a gift-filled shoebox to send to a child overseas. Upon arrival and using whatever means necessary to deliver the boxes -- by truck, train, boat, bike, or even elephants or camels -- the shoebox gifts will be presented to children worldwide.

For many children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received.

Empty shoeboxes and a list of gift ideas for boys and girls can be picked up at First Baptist Church, located at 602 West Street in Cassville.

The shoeboxes travel thousands of miles, using special tracking technology. Participants can follow their boxes online to learn the country to which their gifts will be delivered. To register a shoebox gift, participants may use the online donation form at www.samaritanspurse.org.

National Collection Week is Nov. 16-23. Drop off times at the church are Nov. 16-22 from noon to 5 p.m., Nov. 23 from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, people may call 417-847-2965, drop by the church during operating hours to pick up a shoe box, or visit samaritanspurse.org.

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