Operation Christmas Child: Fill a shoebox

Local area ministries are joining forces to support Samaritan’s Purse in their shoebox event, Operation Christmas Child, which includes over 5,000 participating ministries. Donations to various drop-off sites runs Nov. 13-18.

This year, the New York Southwest Area Team hopes to contribute more than 9,743 shoebox gifts 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 Regional Manager Tracy Thornton. “Through these simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them.”

Churches and ministries are asking everyone to help by filling a shoebox with small gifts, school supplies, hygiene items, etc. for a child who will not be receiving much for Christmas this year. These shoeboxes will be delivered to needy children all over the world.

Local Ministry Coordinator, Sandy Thies from Park United Methodist Church, says there are a few changes this year.

Operation hop

“This year Samaritan’s Purse is asking for givers to not include toothpaste or any candy in the boxes. Since many children in impoverished places sometimes use sticks to brush their teeth with, they were unaccustomed to toothpaste. Samaritan’s Purse found that several children were so overcome by the novelty of toothpaste that they began to eat it as a treat. Toothpaste is toxic when eaten that way.”

Thies suggested those interested in giving a shoebox to go to the website, www.samaritanspurse.org, where the organization will give you a label and a barcode for the box. After filling the box for a specific age group, the giver places the label and barcode on the box itself. The barcode will be scanned and people will receive an email telling them which country the box is headed.

Thies mentioned that because of the barcode, a man who gave a box last year was emailed a picture of the child who received it.

If individuals cannot pay for the shipping of the box online, Samaritan’s Purse asks that they include $9 in the box to cover that cost.

Local donation sites and times are as follows.

Park United Methodist Church

49 Sinclair Drive, Sinclairville

Monday-Friday, Nov. 13-17: 10 a.m. to noon, 3-5 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 18: 1-5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 19: 1-5 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 20: 10 a.m. to noon, 3-5 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Mayville

59 S Erie St., Mayville

Monday, Nov. 13: 6-8 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 14: 1-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 15: 6-8 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 16: 1-3 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 17: 6-8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 18: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 19: noon to 3 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 20: 9-11 a.m.

Kidder Memorial United Methodist Church

385 S Main St., Jamestown

Monday-Friday, Nov. 13-17: 5-7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 18: 10 a.m. to noon, 5-7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 19: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 20: 9-11 a.m.