Operation Christmas Child is a worldwide children’s project of Samaritan’s Purse that uses gift-filled shoe boxes to let benefit children.

In 2011, Operation Christmas Child will reach more than 8.5 million children.

This week is Christmas National Collection Week, and families, churches, scout troops, schools, civic clubs and businesses are filling their shoe boxes. In addition to collecting shoe box gifts year-round at the headquarters in Boone, N.C., Samaritan’s Purse will be collecting gift-filled shoe boxes at more than 2,900 drop-off sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico during National Collection Week.

During National Collection Week, the drop-off location for completed shoe boxes is Fellowship Bible Church, 1051 Hogan Lane (next to Plant Outlet). Drop off hours are from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 7-9 Wednesday evening, and 1-7 p.m. Sunday. 

For more information about this project or to find out how to pack a box, check out the website for Samaritan’s Purse www.samaritanspurse.org/occ or contact the local coordinator, Dawn Wilson, at 501-269-0434.  

Millions Worldwide

Kids, families, businesses and organizations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and 10 additional countries will fill more than 8 million shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, family photos and notes of encouragement for needy children.

Some 140,000 volunteers in the United States, bringing the total to more than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, will then help prepare the boxes for transport to distant lands. 

Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts are collected in: the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Samaritan’s Purse and its national partners will hand-deliver each of the 8.5 million shoe box gifts to children in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to "follow" their box to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out to which country they are delivered, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org.