OCC in final collection days

From staff and press reports

Winston County has a chance to share some holiday love with children around the world.

Operation Christmas Child, a worldwide gift-giving program done by Boone, N.C.-based Samaritan’s Purse, plans to collect 9.1 million gift-filled shoe boxes to send to children in more then 100 countries around the world.

Thousand of boxes are expected to come from Winston County but the days are widning down. The gift boxes are being collected until Monday, Nov. 19.

The main collection site, also called relay center, is First Baptist Church, Louisville and will have the collectonhours will be today, Nov. 14 to Sat. Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m. Also, Monday morning Nov. 19, 9a.m. to 11a.m. Special times can be made by calling Mary Ann Yates at 772-7639.

“This is (an opportunity) to share God’s love with a child who wouldn’t otherwise know God’s love,” said Dihan McCullough, a volunteer with Operation Christmas Child in Winston County. The gift boxes do not have to be wrapped.

Gift-box donors are asked to also donate $7 to help with shipping costs. Once dropped off, the shoe boxes are processed, prepared and transported to suffering children in more than 100 countries.

Filling the box: Gift ideas for the boxes include, toys and school supplies, as well as personal hygiene products like hair brushes, combs, soap, wash cloths and mouth care items.

The gifts should be provided according to age groups of 2 to 4, 5 to 9, and 10-14.

Last year, Operation Christmas child shipped 8.6 million gift-filled shoe boxes overseas to children in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse is headed by Franklin Graham, is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.

By using special tracking technology, participants can follow their shoe box and discover the country in which their gift will be hand- delivered to a child in need. To register your shoe box gift, use the “Follow Your Box” form online.

Anyone can participate in Operation Christmas Child. The time to pack a shoe box gift is now. For information on how to participate, visit www.SamaritansPurse.org/OCC.

Besides Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse — a nonprofit Christian organization — provides disaster relief and medical aid programs to victims of war, natural disaster, famine, disease and poverty.