This year’s Operation Christmas Child regional campaign is now under way.
The regional campaign kicked off last week with an event in Chattanooga, where Mid-South regional manager for OCC Kate Tanis shared about delivering shoe boxes to Uganda.
Here in Cleveland, First Baptist Church and Life Care Centers of America’s Campbell Center will serve as locations for individuals to drop off shoe boxes.
National Collection Week is Nov. 12-19. Boxes can be dropped off at First Baptist Church Nov. 12 through 15, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 16, from 8 a.m. to noon. Those wanting to drop off a box on Nov. 18 can do so during the Sunday church services.
Shoes can be delivered to the Campbell Center Nov. 12 through 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 18 from 2 to 3 p.m.; and Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Individual Life Care Centers will not serve as drop-off locations this year.
“There is not a rift between us and Samaritan’s Purse,” Life Care Centers of America Beecher Hunter said in a presentation on the program.
“From the beginning, when Samaritan’s Purse started Operation Christmas Child they wanted churches to be the relay centers.”
Hunter said the facilities will continue to participate by preparing their own boxes.
This year the international organization hopes to break a record of having distributed more than 100 million shoe boxes since the program’s inception, according to the Operation Christmas Child website.
Each year millions of boxes filled with toys, candy and hygiene items are collected and delivered to children around the world. Letters and cards to the child receiving the box can also be included.
Those dropping off a box are asked to include a $7 donation to cover the cost of shipping. However, if the donation is made online, then the box can be tracked, giving the donor the opportunity to see what country the box is delivered.
According to OCC information, children who receive the shoe box gifts are also given “The Greatest Journey” books in their own language that tell of Jesus Christ and salvation.
When possible, partnerships are made with local churches and discipleship classes are offered for the children.
How to pack a shoe box: