Operation Christmas Child collection sites announced

This article was published November 4, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

In November, several locations in central Arkansas will serve as drop-off sites for the Samaritan's Purse project, Operation Christmas Child -- joining nearly 5,000 U.S. locations collecting gift-filled shoeboxes for children in need around the world.

During the project's National Collection Week, Nov. 13-20, Hot Springs residents will transform empty shoeboxes into gifts of hope filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys. Operation Christmas Child will deliver these shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

This year, central Arkansas hopes to contribute more than 88,431 shoebox gifts toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million children.

"We are honored to join the nationwide effort to collect gift-filled shoeboxes for children who may have never experienced the true meaning of Christmas," Regional Director Todd Edwards said in the press release. "Through these simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them."

Area collection sites are Grand Avenue United Methodist Church, 841 Quapaw Ave., 623-5626; Walnut Valley Baptist Church, 1698 Highway 7 north, Hot Springs Village, 623-7422; First Baptist Church Malvern, 531 S. Main St., Malvern, 501-332-5263; and Second Baptist Church, 815 S. 12th St., Arkadelphia, 870-246-8589.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 615-962-7145 or visit http://samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through "Follow Your Box" and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse http://samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child's specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

Religion on 11/04/2017
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