Give back this sea­son to Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­hoo.com

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.

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