Churches involved in shoebox program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two Lawrence County churches are serving as drop-off locations for an international gift program.

This is the first year Union Baptist Church in Kitts Hill and Southern Baptist Church in South Point have participated in Operation Christmas Child.

The project is one of the outreach ministries of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.

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National Collection week is Nov 12-18.

“More than 2,000 churches will be opening their doors, and really their hearts to the children and families of the world,” said Virginia Cook, the area coordinator for the Southeast Ohio team. “Union and Southern Baptist are convenient community locations that make it easy for anyone to drop off a box.”

OCC volunteers are asking people to fill an empty shoe box or small plastic container with school supplies, small toys, hygiene items, and other small personal items for a needy boy or girl.

“Very special care is taken with these gifts, once the relay center collects them they are taken to Jackson, Ohio, which is our area collection center,” Cook said.

“Then they are all loaded into roadway trucks and are taken to Charlotte, N.C. where they are processed.”

Last year 1.8 million boxes were processed at Samaritan’s Purse Headquarters in Charlotte by volunteers.

Worldwide, Cook said it takes 150,000 short and long term volunteers to keep this project running smoothly.

Cook was part of a distribution mission last year in Panama.

The Union Baptist Church will accept boxes Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

The First Southern Baptist Church will accept boxes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon-4:30 p.m., Wednesday from 4-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m.