With a goal of collecting 12,300 shoeboxes full of gifts this year in a five-county area, the South Central Ohio Area Operation Christmas Child will open two collection sites next week in Highland County.
One site will be at the First United Methodist Church in Hillsboro and the other site will at the First Baptist Church in Greenfield.
“The annual Samaritan’s Purse project is a favorite of many county residents, families, churches and groups who spread joy to millions of children around the world by filling shoeboxes with a ‘wow’ item – like a doll or soccer ball – other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement,” said Helen Hiestand, a Hillsboro area resident who oversees OCC’s South Central Ohio Area that includes Adams, Brown, Clinton, Fayette and Highland counties.
Operation Christmas Child says it is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind and has a global goal of reaching 11 million children in need this year.
“Through the simple act of filling a shoebox, someone can make a tangible difference in the life of a child halfway around the world. Anyone can participate and bring joy to a child facing difficult circumstances,” said Hillsboro volunteer Alexis Kirk, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for six years.
National Collection Week for OCC is 16-23.
The Hillsboro collection site, located at 133 E. Walnut St., will be open Monday, Nov. 16 to Friday, Nov. 20, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 22, from noon to 4 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Greenfield collection site, located at 250 Lafayette St., will be open Monday, Nov. 16 to Friday, Nov. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 21, from 2 to 4 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 22, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, a gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.
For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child call Helen Hiestand at 937-725-8192.
With a computer or mobile device, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift on the Samaritan’s Purse website. Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement and “pack” them in a shoebox. Using special tracking technology, participants can follow their box to discover where in the world their gift is delivered by using the donation form found at samaritanspurse.org/occ. These gifts of hope will go to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries.