By Madison Fisler Lewis
Nov. 17, 2014. Today marks the first day of National Collection Week for Samaritan’s Purse’s annual giving initiative, Operation Christmas Child, which has helped deliver millions of shoebox gifts to children in need all over the world.
The annual project is a favorite of many Boone residents, families, churches and groups who fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and notes of encouragement, and is the world’s largest project of its kind.
“Operation Christmas Child is a fun project that makes a tangible difference in the life of a child facing difficult circumstances. Anyone can participate, whether young or old,” said Carolina’s Regional Director Keith Burney in a release.
To participate in this initiative, all you need to start is a simple shoebox.
Participants are encouraged to fill a shoebox with gifts for a boy or a girl of an age of their choosing. Gift suggestions include small toys, school supplies, non-liquid hygiene items, accessories and a personal note. To cover the shipping of the gifts, participants are asked to include $7 for each gift prepared. From there, you may drop off your shoebox to a nearby drop off location during National Collections Week. This year’s collection sites are the Boone Processing Center at 801 Bamboo Rd. and Three Forks Baptist Church at 1922 U.S. 421.
Items that gift givers should avoid putting in the boxes include used or damaged items, liquids or lotions, medications, war-related items, and breakable items.
If you’d like, there is also the option of building a shoebox online here.
After National Collection Week concludes, the gifts are sent to children in need. Volunteers distribute the shoebox gifts to children in communities that need help the most.
For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 800-353-5949 or visit samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 17-24; however, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina.