2009-10-29 / Local & State

Operation Christmas Child Collection Dates Set

Shoe boxes should be dropped off Nov. 16-23 at My Father’s House church

Collection week for Operation Christmas Child has been set for November 16-23 this year, according to information released from the Samaritan’s Purse organization and from local coordinator Dixie Henry. Once again, shoe boxes will be collected locally at My Father’s House Ministries Church. Those interested in participating in the shoe box program should note that the church is located at 1635 Lincoln Way East (one mile east of Mc- Connellsburg off old Route 30).

The Operation Christmas Child project has been sponsored annually by Samaritan’s Purse International Relief since 1993 when 28,000 shoe box gifts were collected. Since then the kidshelping kids project has handdelivered more than 61 million shoe box gifts to needy children in 120 countries. Operation Christmas Child is a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, ranked three times by Smart- Money magazine as America’s most efficiently run charity. Headed by Franklin Graham, and based in Boone, N.C., Samaritan’s Purse has world offices in Canada,the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Ireland.

Kids, families, churches, Scout troops, schools, civic clubs, and businesses are busy filling their shoe boxes now. Locally, the shoe boxes will be collected at My Father’s House Ministries located at the church’s new location. The hours for the collection during the week of November 16- 23 will be Monday: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Thursday: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.; Saturday: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.; and Sunday: 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. On Monday, November 23, the boxes will be shipped to the collection center in Waynesboro to begin their journey to children around the world.

How to pack your shoe box gift: Find an empty shoe box (standard size). Wrap it – lid separately – if you like, but wrapping is not required. Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl and the age category as follows: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Label the top of the box with the gender and age information. Fill the box with a variety of gifts such as toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch-A-Sketch toys that light up or make noise (be sure to include batteries) or Slinky toys; school supplies such as pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and inkpad sets, coloring books, writing pads, paper, solar calculators, etc.; hygiene items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, bar soap in a plastic bag, comb and washcloths; and other items such as hard candy, lollipops, mints, gum, sunglasses, flashlights (with batteries), ball caps, socks, T-shirts, jewelry, hair clips, watches and small picture books.

It is requested that the following not be included: war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items; or aerosol cans.

Once the shoe box is packed, you are invited to enclose a note to the child and/or a photo of yourself or your family. Please enclose a check for $7 to cover shipping costs. The check should be made out to Samaritan’s Purse with a note on the memo line that it is for Operation Christmas Child. Brochures are available that contain envelopes for the checks. Place the envelope on top of the gift items and then simply place a rubber band around your box and lid and drop it off at the collection site during the hours listed above.

Every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift, and My Father’s House Ministries asks for the community’s support of this unique and worthwhile project.

For more information locally regarding the project, call 717- 987-9512.

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