OCC Collection Week


Drop off locations in Hillsboro, Greenfield, Sardinia

The Times-Gazette



Lela McWhorter, Hillsboro church relations director with Operation Christmas Child, displays a shoebox and a couple books that will go inside them.

Lela McWhorter, Hillsboro church relations director with Operation Christmas Child, displays a shoebox and a couple books that will go inside them.


Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette

National shoebox collection week for Operation Christmas Child is Nov. 15-22 and there are drop off locations in Greenfield, Hillsboro and Sardinia, among others in surrounding counties.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC), which operates under the umbrella of Samaritan’s Purse, originated in the 1990s. Since 1993, more than 188 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received a shoebox gift, according to Lela McWhorter, OCC church relations director the First United Methodist Church in Hillsboro.

“On a more local note, the late Becky Gotherman started the mission in Highland County,” McWhorter said. “Becky began collecting shoeboxes in 1995 at her and her husband Marvin’s home. They actually drove to the processing center in Boone, North Carolina with a pickup truck load of boxes.

“I consider Becky to be the mother of OCC in Highland County. She had the first collection center in the area and even had a semi-truck donated to handle all the boxes. She managed to recruit many volunteers. One lady wrapped over 10,000 regular shoeboxes.”

As OCC grew though, McWhorter said, it became necessary to move the collection center to a larger facility. In Hillsboro, that has been the First United Methodist Church for 11 years.

It takes many volunteers to ensure the shoeboxes are filled, collected and distributed around the globe. McWhorter said the OCC goal for 2021 is to place shoeboxes in the hands of more than 9.7 million children.

Items that can be included in the shoeboxes include school supplies, hygiene items, small toys and what McWhorter said is a “wow” item that could be a soccer ball and pump, a doll or a stuffed animal.

“But what some may not know is that the box also comes with a small booklet, in each child’s own language, containing the word of God. It is called the ‘greatest gift,’” McWhorter said. “The older children are offered a chance to learn more through another booklet called ‘The Greatest Journey’, a multi-lesson booklet to teach how to have a relationship with God. It has enabled many church plants in many countries.”

Following is a drop off schedule for the Hillsboro, Greenfield and Sardinia locations:

* First United Methodist Church, 133 E. Walnut St., Hillsboro

Monday, Nov. 15 — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday Nov. 16 — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 18 — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 19 — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 20 — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 21 — Noon to 3 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 22 — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

* Greenfield First Baptist Church, 250 Lafayette St.

Monday, Nov. 15 — 6-8 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 16 — 6-8 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 — 6-8 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 18 — 6-8 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 19 — 6-8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 20 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 21 —Noon to 3 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 22 — 9 a.m. to noon

* Sardinia Church of Christ, 7130 Bachman Rd.

Monday, Nov. 15 — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 16 — 2-6 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 — 2-6 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 18 — 2-6 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 19 — 2-6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 20 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 21 — Noon to 5 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 22 — 9 a.m. to noon

Lela McWhorter, Hillsboro church relations director with Operation Christmas Child, displays a shoebox and a couple books that will go inside them.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/11/web1_Christmas-Child-pic.jpgLela McWhorter, Hillsboro church relations director with Operation Christmas Child, displays a shoebox and a couple books that will go inside them. Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette
Drop off locations in Hillsboro, Greenfield, Sardinia

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