Give back this season to Operation Christmas Child
The holiday season is one of the most expensive times of the year, but between numerous charities and fundraisers, giving or receiving in Polk has never been easier.
Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child are two major groups working to ensure everyone wakes up to gifts on December 25.
To complete their goal, Operation Christmas recruits volunteers who fill and give away shoe boxes with tangible gifts such as toys, school supplies, and hygiene items.
Partaking in the operation is simple.
Samaritans should fill shoe boxes with useful, fun gifts for children- soccer balls, book bags, dolls- grab a Follow Your Box Label online, and search for the nearest drop off location by visiting www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Any shoebox can be used, but those without one can also use plastic or cardboard. Suggestions for gifts, as well as what not to include, can be found at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/ operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoeboxsuggestions/.
Those interested in simply making monetary donations can also do so on the website, but purchasing something from the gift catalog, volunteering, supporting a physician, and non-monetary donations are also appreciated.
Collected gifts are typically packaged and distributed to churches in December, so those looking to help later in the process should speak with churches for potential volunteering opportunities. Those willing to travel can still find spots available at the Atlanta processing center at 425 Horizon Drive, Suwanee, Atlanta.
Operation Christmas Child began in 1993 and has since delivered 146 million shoe boxes to more than 160 countries and territories. Shoebox gifts are collected in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Spain, New Zealand and Japan. Nearly 500,000 volunteers worldwide are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoe box gifts.
It is Samaritan’s Purse’s goal to deliver another 12 million in 2017 alone. National collection week is November 13th – 20th, 2017, so patrons should aim to have their boxes packed by the specified date.