The Samaritan’s Purse project, "Operation Christmas Child," will open multiple locations countywide in Tuscarawas County including a location in Newcomerstown on Nov. 13 as drop-off locations for gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
During the project’s National Collection Week (Nov. 13-20), these sites will collect shoebox donations filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys for children living in poverty overseas. Operation Christmas Child will deliver these shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.
"This year, Ohio East Area volunteers from our five local county areas hope to contribute more than 30,000 shoebox gifts to reach children in need," said Ohio East Media Coordinator Christy Bloom.
The Tuscarawas County locations will join nearly 5,000 United States locations collecting gift-filled shoeboxes for children in need around the world.
This year, area residents hope to contribute toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million children.
"We are honored to join the nationwide effort to collect gift-filled shoeboxes for children who may have never experienced the true meaning of Christmas," said Bloom, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for four years. "Through these simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them."
Tuscarawas County collections sites for Nov. 13-20:
• Faith Baptist Church, 9481 State Route 212 NE, Bolivar. Collection times: Monday, 6 to 9 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 20, 9 to 11 a.m.
• The Church at Carter’s Orchard, 2613 N. Wooster Ave. in Dover. Collection times: Monday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Tuesday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Sunday, 1:30 to 5 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
• First Baptist Church, 135 S. River Street, Newcomerstown. Collection times: Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Wednesday, 3 to 6 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Sunday, 3 to 6 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
• Oasis Tabernacle, 531 Dover Rd. NE in Sugarcreek. Collection times: Monday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Tuesday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 3:30 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• Uhrichsville Christian Fellowship, 217 E. 3rd St., Uhrichsville. Collection times: Monday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 20, 8 to 10 a.m.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call Ohio East Area Coordinator Lynette Mahaffey, 330-852-8812, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through "Follow Your Box" and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.
Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.