Global gift project for needy children kicks off in Mid-South

Children celebrate the shoebox distribution in Zambia. Photo by David Morrison.

Children celebrate the shoebox distribution in Zambia. Photo by David Morrison.

As of this week and next, generous contributors will have more places to leave their wrapped shoe boxes full of gifts for the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child.

Drop-off locations around the multi-county Greater Memphis Area are opening now through Nov. 20 during National Collection Week. People can fill shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items and wrap the boxes for distribution to children in need around the world.

The local team of volunteers hopes to collect more than 29,500 during the week toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million children. The project will deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

“It’s exciting to think of the impact our efforts will have in the life of each child who receives a shoebox,” said Regional Director Todd Edwards. “We can’t wait to see how our community will respond this year to share God’s love with children across the globe.”

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call (615) 962-7145 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

For a complete list of participating drop-off locations, searchable by ZIP code, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.