Just in time for the holiday season, Operation Christmas Child opened its drop-off sites for this year’s donations to children in need. The donations, prepared and received in shoeboxes with faith-based messages, help children from Fiji to Fayetteville to everywhere in between.
Donors can drop off their shoeboxes filled with school supplies, toys and personal care items this National Collection Week from now until Monday, Nov. 20, at over 4,500 sites.
“This season, children around the world need a tangible reminder that there is hope and that God loves them,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, which is the organization that created the Operation Christmas Child project. “Through these shoebox gifts packed with special items, children also receive the opportunity to hear about the eternal hope found in Jesus Christ.”
Fayetteville resident and longtime participant, Pamela Gayle, will be filling over 1,500 shoeboxes starting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Nov. 18 at Benson Grove Baptist in Benson with family, friends and others in the packing party.
Gayle thinks in big numbers and buys in bulk, according to an Operation Christmas Child press release. Last year Gayle's group packed 2,068 shoeboxes for donation, and 1,749 shoeboxes in 2021.
Apart from the packing party, here is a list of locations in and around Cumberland County where residents can drop off their donations:
Operation Christmas Child is a project created by Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian charity organization, to “demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world,” according to its website, and has been operating for three decades.
“In 2023, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach another 11 million children,” the press release reads. “This season, there’s still time for individuals, families, and groups to transform empty shoeboxes into fun gifts.”
To find more drop-off sites in the state, visit the Samaritan's Purse website.