This month, several locations on the Shore will serve as drop-off sites for the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child—joining nearly 5,000 U.S. locations collecting gift-filled shoeboxes for children in need around the world.
During the project’s National Collection Week, Nov. 13 – 20, ESVA residents will transform empty shoeboxes into gifts of hope filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys. Operation Christmas Child will deliver these shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.
This year, Eastern Shore-area residents hope to contribute 5,000 shoebox gifts toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million children.
“We are honored to join the nationwide effort to collect gift-filled shoeboxes for children who may have never experienced the true meaning of Christmas,” said Area Coordinator Nancy Kluis, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for several years. “Through these simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them.”
 
ESVA COLLECTION SITES NOV. 13 – 20:
 (please call the Drop-Off Center phone numbers listed for daily hours of operation)
 
Onancock Baptist Church
Jayne Wilson
 
Union Baptist Church, Chincoteague
Marsha Eley
 
Exmore Baptist Church
Lucy Freeman
 
Trinity UMC, Cape Charles
Jim Moore
 For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.