Newberg church prepares for Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is not letting the COVID-19 pandemic dissuade it from its mission. Instead, the annual event is adapting and moving forward.
The program, organized by Samaritan's Purse and facilitated in Newberg by Grace Baptist Church, connects children around the world with school supplies, hygiene items, toys and information on Christianity. These items are carefully packed into shoeboxes and distributed to recipients throughout the world on Christmas.Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 160 countries and territories. More than 500,000 volunteers from across the world assist with collecting, shipping and distributing shoebox gifts.
Along with dropping off items in person, those interested in supporting the program can also pack a virtual shoebox at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.
"Much of the world has been gripped with fear and this is especially hard for children," Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, said. "Now more than ever, these boys and girls need to know God loves them. Operation Christmas Child delivers the hope found only in Jesus Christ."
This year, leaders involved with the project hope to distribute 11 million shoeboxes in Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine. In 2019, more than 10.5 million were collected, including 8.9 million from the United States.
During the week of Nov. 16 though Nov. 23, toys, school supplies and hygiene items for the shoeboxes can be dropped off at Grace Baptist Church, 1619 E. Second St., between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday through Satrday, Nov. 16 through Nov. 21, noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22 and 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, Nov. 23.
Participants are asked not to include candy, toothpaste, gum, used or damaged items, war-related items, food, seeds, drinks mixes, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items or aerosol cans.
Once the shoebox gifts are collected they are prepared for overseas shipment at processing locations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Chicago and locations in North Carolina and southern California. To receive information on the destination of their shoeboxes, participants can donate $9 per box to receive tracking labels.
Headquartered in North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational Christian organization founded in 1970. The group's goals include providing spiritual and physical aid to victims of war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty and persecution. There are field offices in 17 countries and ministry partners in more than 100 countries.
For more information about Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.org.
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