Operation Christmas Child organizers hope to collect 18000 boxes this year

Operation Christmas Child organizers hope to collect 18000 boxes this year

Oakdale families are on a mission to make an impact in the lives of children in need.

"It is putting together a gift, of what I would consider love, packed into a shoebox", said Samaritan's Purse volunteer Shelley Hyatt of the campaign. The St. Joseph area team volunteers, which the Maryville area is part of, have a goal of collecting more than 9,250 gifts during the week. Monday was the first day for boxes to come to Unity's multi-purpose building at the church's campus, 311 Smokey Road.

Snyder said the boxes will go to children in 100 different countries around the world.

"They know that somebody cares and we like to convey to them that God cares too", said Copeland.

Before opening their shoeboxes, Parker-Moore said the children will hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. "It really gives them a sense of empowerment that they can commit to a project and see it through to the end", she explained. "It is because of his love that we are doing this".

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"Just no candy or toothpaste", Huerta said. While there, she saw a woman crying tears of joy after her four children received shoe boxes filled with school supplies. "Last year, we had a lot on Friday, Saturday and Sunday".

In Elm City, Wilbanks Christian Church at 6128 N.C. 42 will collect shoeboxes from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 15, 16 and 17, 10 a.m.to noon Nov. 17 and 20 and 1-6 p.m. Nov. 18 and 19.

This is the fourth year that Bethel Baptist Church is Marquette County's drop-off point.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 146 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 160 countries and territories. Shoeboxes built online also allow ease of entry through customs, and help ensure Operation Christmas Child's continued presence in places that are hard to reach.

Sheila said the type of items in every box vary depending on the gender and age the volunteer chooses to donate to.

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CONTENTS: Then, start filling your box.

On Monday, tables at Forest Home Baptist Church were laden with toys, mittens, hygiene products, Play-Doh, undergarments, school supplies, stuffed animals, play jewelry, drawstring bags and all manner of gifts destined to bring a smile to children's faces wherever they live, whatever language they speak, whatever their creed. Some people also send a personal note and photo of their family. If you include your name and an address, the child may be able to write back.

Items that should not be included are chocolates, as they could melt as well as any liquids as they may leak in the shipping process.

Those interested in donating can pick between three age ranges and cater their shoe box to either a boy or a girl.

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