By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Grab a shoebox or two and get ready to fill them with Christmas joy as Pulaski County residents try to meet a goal of collecting 12,000 boxes for the global Christmas project Operation Christmas Child during National Collection Week, Nov. 18–25.
Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 100 million shoebox gifts to suffering children in more than 100 countries since its inception in 1993. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, this year’s goal is to collect 9.8 million boxes of gifts this year.
Residents are asked to fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene products and notes of encouragement and deliver them, during collection week, to one of two collection sites in the county: Refreshing Center – Pulaski Church of God in Pulaski and Fairlawn Grace Brethren Church in Fairlawn.
The collected shoeboxes will be delivered to children worldwide and, for many of them, will be the first gift they have ever received. Participants who fill out a donation form available online at samaritanspurse.org will be notified through email of the country where their box or boxes were delivered.
Collection sight operating hours and addresses are as follows:
•Refreshing Center – Pulaski Church of God, 1621 Bob White Blvd. Pulaski; Monday-Saturday, Nov. 18-23, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m.-3 p.m., and Monday, Nov. 25, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
•Fairlawn Grace Brethren Church, 6893 Mills Ave., Fairlawn; Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 18-19, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, Nov. 21-22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., and Monday, Nov. 18, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.
For more information regarding the collection locations, call 1-800-567-8580. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 410-772-7360 or visit samaritanspurse.org.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.
Although National Collection Week is Nov. 18-25, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C. Participants can also build a box through an online tool offering a personalized and convenient way to send a gift to a child in one of the hardest-to-reach countries.