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. 12 – 19, 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 2018 global goal of reaching 11 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. 12 – 19:

(please call the Drop-Off Center phone numbers listed for daily hours of operation)

Onancock Baptist Church
Jayne Wilson
757-787-4348

Union Baptist Church, Chincoteague
Marsha Eley
757-336-5018

Exmore Baptist Church
Lucy Freeman
757-442-9491

Trinity UMC, Cape Charles
Jim Moore
757-331-2564

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.