While some McMinnville families may be beginning to plan their holiday activities, some local volunteers are focused on filling empty shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, hygiene items and notes of encouragement for needy children overseas.
These volunteers are encouraging Warren County residents to participate in the world’s largest holiday project of its kind – Operation Christmas Child – an effort that has hand-delivered 86 million gifts to kids worldwide since 1993.
This project of Samaritan’s Purse is coming to its peak in the coming weeks as national collection week is set for Nov. 14-21. During that eight-day span, shoeboxes can be dropped off in McMinnville at First United Methodist Church at 200 W. Main Street.
If you’d like to prepare a shoebox, a standard size box will do or you can use a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required.
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl. Age categories are: 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14.
Then fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Perishable food and war-related items such as toy guns should not be included.
Please donate $7 or more for each shoebox you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. Then place a rubber band around each closed shoebox before dropping it off at First United Methodist.
It’s the first year the church has served as the collection site and spearheaded the project locally. Wendy Curran first started Operation Christmas Child locally nine years ago, but has stepped back from organizing the massive shoebox collection this year.
Collection times at First United Methodist are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 14-18; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, and 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (615) 778-0046 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.