WILMINGTON — This month, two locations in Clinton County area will serve as collection sites for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.
The annual Samaritan’s Purse project is a favorite of many county residents, families, churches and groups who spread joy to millions of children around the world by filling shoeboxes with a “Wow!” item — like a doll or soccer ball — other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement.
“Through the simple act of filling a shoebox, someone can make a tangible difference in the life of a child halfway around the world, said Wilmington volunteer Debbie Hatten, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for 16 years. “Anyone can participate and bring joy to a child facing difficult circumstances.”
During National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23, volunteers from the South Central Ohio Area — comprised of Clinton, Adams, Brown, Fayette and Highland counties — hope to collect 12,300 gift-filled shoeboxes toward the 2015 global goal of reaching 11 million children in need.
Clinton County collection sites are:
• Calvary Baptist Church, 1920 W US 22/3, Wilmington (phone 937-382-6517). From Nov. 16-20, hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 22, noon-6 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to noon.
• Blanchester Church of Christ, 911 Cherry St. (SR 28), Blanchester (phone 937-783-3243). From Nov. 16-20, hours are: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 4-6 p.m., Wednesday 5-7 p.m. and Friday 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22, noon-2 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to noon.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, a gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.
For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call Helen Hiestand at 937-725-8192. With a computer or mobile device, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift on the Samaritan’s Purse website. Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement and “pack” them in a shoebox. Using special tracking technology, participants can follow their box to discover where in the world their gift is delivered by using the donation form found at samaritanspurse.org/occ. These gifts of hope will go to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries.