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Operation Christmas Child travels to Malawi
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Two little girls at Kwidzi Full Gospel Fellowship Church in Malawi, Africa open their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items.

Back in May, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, traveled to Malawi, Africa to deliver shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items to children.

Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization, began its involvement in Malawi in 2000.

Michelle Hartley, an administrative coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, went for the weeklong mission trip to distribute these shoeboxes.

“One of my favorite distributions that week was at the Kwidzi Full Gospel Fellowship Church which happened to be on the shore of Lake Malawi,” said Hartley. “There were 200 children at this particular outreach event and once they all had received their boxes we went outside on the beach and spent time with them and their shoebox gifts.”

For those who may have donated from our community, Hartley shared these additional stats from Malawi:
• Shoeboxes distributed to date there – 1,411,298
• Shoeboxes distributed this year in Malawi – 204,000.

• Shoeboxes distributed on the Southeast Super Region Vision Trip – approximately 2,250.

Every year, Operation Christmas Child’s national collection week takes place the third week in November. From Nov. 12-19, nearly 5,000 drop-off locations are open across the country.

Locally, First Baptist Church at 403 North Spring Street serves as McMinnville’s shoebox drop-off spot.

If you would like to participate this year, there are three easy steps:

• Find a shoebox.
• Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or boy, and the age category.

• Pray for the child who will receive your gift.

Operation Christmas Child even provides a list of gift suggestions for each age range for those unsure what to contribute. For more information on how to pack a shoebox, visit