National collection week for “Operation Christmas Child” will begin today at Delaware Bible Church.
Operation Christmas Child is an event operated by Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization that aims to send much-needed items to children in Third World countries with few or no personal resources. The program encourages filling a shoe box with those items to be given children as Christmas presents.
The dropoff for these boxes in Delaware is Delaware Bible Church, located at 45 Belle Ave. The boxes can be dropped off at the following times in the church’s gym lobby:
• Nov. 16 — 6 to 8 p.m.
• Nov. 17 — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
• Nov. 18 — 2 to 4 p.m.
• Nov. 19 — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
• Nov. 20 — 2 to 4 p.m.
• Nov. 21 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Nov. 23 — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Boxes are designated for either a boy or a girl and the age ranges for recipients is from 2 to 4 years old, from 5 to 9 years old, and from 10 to 14 years old.
The boxes contain items, such as small toys; school supplies; hygiene items, like toothbrushes or soap; as well as practical items like sunglasses, flashlights and batteries, or socks.
New this year, Operation Christmas Child asks for boxes to contain a “Wow” item, which the organization defines as a medium to large item that will capture children’s attention when they open gifts. Examples include a soccer ball with a pump, a stuffed animal or musical instrument.
Operation Christmas Child prohibits used items, war-related toys, perishable foods, liquids, medicines and vitamins, and breakable items.
During national collection week, Nov. 16-23, Samaritan’s Purse will collect the gift-filled shoe boxes at more than 4,000 drop-off sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Operation Christmas Child reportedly began in the United States in 1993 with 28,000 shoe box gifts. Since then, the project has collected more than 124 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to needy children in some 150 countries.
The organization reports this year’s goal is 10 million shoe boxes.
For more information, go to www.samaritanspurse.org or to www.delawarebible.org.