Three area churches collecting shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

Worldwide program has provided more than 178 million boxes of gifts

For Clay Today
Posted 11/18/20

CLAY COUNTY – Residents are encouraged to drop off shoeboxes filled with goodies at one of three local churches as part of this year’s Operation Christmas Child program.

Boxes should include …

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Three area churches collecting shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

Worldwide program has provided more than 178 million boxes of gifts

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Residents are encouraged to drop off shoeboxes filled with goodies at one of three local churches as part of this year’s Operation Christmas Child program.

Boxes should include fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items for children around the world.

Hibernia Baptist Church on Fleming Island, Oakleaf Baptist Church and Trinity Baptist Church in Keystone Heights have been designated drop-off locations in Clay County.

The worldwide program concludes on Monday, Nov. 23.

In the summer of 1993, Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham received a call from a man in England asking if he’d be willing to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in war-torn Bosnia. Franklin agreed, but figured Christmas was months away. He forgot about the promise until he received a call back around Thanksgiving asking about the gifts.

Franklin asked his friend the late Pastor Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte to see if he could help with the need. A Sunday shortly afterward, Pastor Rhoads demonstrated for his congregation how to fill a shoebox with simple gifts and encouraged them to include a letter to the child as well. Within weeks, the church had 11,000 shoeboxes lining their hallways.

Due to their generosity and additional gifts from Canada, Samaritan’s Purse sent 28,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Balkans that Christmas.

Every year since, Samaritan’s Purse has collected shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children around the world. Since 1993, more than 178 million children in more than 150 countries have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love.

Tens of thousands of volunteers from local churches around the world partner with us to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts.

Samaritans Purse suggests anyone who wishes to help start with a quality “wow” item such as a stuffed animal, soccer ball with pump, or clothing outfit that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box. See our gift suggestions according to age and gender listed below for other fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies to fill the shoebox.

Items that aren’t allowed include candy, toothpaste, gum, used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures, chocolate or food, seeds, fruit rolls or other fruit snacks, drink mixes (powdered or liquid), liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers and aerosol cans.

Local drop-off times are:

Hibernia Baptist Church, 7100 U.S. Highway 17 on Fleming Island: Thursday – 3:30-5:30 p.m.; Friday – 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday – 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday – 3-5 p.m.; and, Monday – 9-11 a.m.

Oakleaf Baptist Church, 800 Oakleaf Plantation Parkway: Thursday – 9-11 a.m. and 4-6:30 p.m.; Friday – 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday – 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday – noon-6 p.m.; and, Monday – 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Trinity Baptist Church, 3716 SE State Road 21, Keystone Heights: All days, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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