Two churches in Highland County and another nearby will serve as drop off locations Nov. 14-21 for Operation Christmas Child, the program that delivered more than 11 million Christmas boxes to children worldwide last year, according to Jack Hatten.
Hatten is the community relations person for the South Central Ohio team of OCC volunteers, a five-county area that includes Highland County. A Wilmington resident, Hatten took over for Hillsboro residents Ed and Helen Hiestand after they served in the position for several years.
The drop off locations in Highland County are the Hillsboro First United Methodist Church and the Greenfield First Baptist Church. There is also a drop off location at the Sardinia Church of Christ.
During National Collection Week, Nov. 14-21, Hillsboro residents can donate shoeboxes filled with school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and fun toys, such as a doll or soccer ball – for OCC volunteers to deliver to children in need around the world.
This year, Hillsboro and surrounding cities’ residents hope to contribute more than 14,200 shoebox gifts toward the 2016 global goal of reaching 12 million children.
Hatten said his wife got involved in the project and then he helped her the last 10 to 12 years.
The shoeboxes also contain information about Jesus Christ, Hatten said.
“The shoebox gifts donated by Hillsboro volunteers will serve as tangible expressions of God’s love to children living in poverty overseas,” said Barb Lanctot, OCC area coordinator. “Anyone is welcome to pack a shoebox and help a child facing difficult circumstances feel loved and not forgotten.”
The Hillsboro First United Methodist Church is located at 133 E. Walnut St. According to Lanctot, the drop off times in Hillsboro are:
• Monday, Nov. 14 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 15 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Wednesday, Nov. 16 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Thursday, Nov. 17 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 18 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 19 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 20 – Noon-4 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 21 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Greenfield First Baptist Church is located at 250 Lafayette St. Drop off times there are:
• Monday, Nov. 14 – 5:30-8 p.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 15 – 5:30-8 p.m.
• Wednesday, Nov. 16 – 5:30-8 p.m.
• Thursday, Nov. 17 – 5:30-8 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 18 – 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 19 – 3-6 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 20 – Noon-4 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 21 – 10 a.m. to noon
The Sardinia Church of Christ is located at 7130 Bachman Road. Drop off times there are:
• Monday, Nov. 14 – 2-6 p.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 15 – 2-6 p.m.
• Wednesday, Nov. 16 – 2-6 p.m.
• Thursday, Nov. 17 – 2-6 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 18 – 2-6 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 19 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 20 – Noon-5 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 21 – 9 a.m. to noon
Hours are subject to change.
For more information on how to participate in OCC, call 937-374-0761 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.
By going online to give the suggested donation of $7 per shoebox gift, participants can follow their box to discover where in the world it will be delivered. They can also pack a shoebox gift online and even upload a photo and note of encouragement.
OCC is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization. Its mission 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 news of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, OCC has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.
“We just ask everybody to pour out their heart, fill a shoebox, and drop it off at one of these locations,” Hatten said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.