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Operation Christmas Child extends invitations to area residents

Although the COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted everyday life in some way for nearly everyone on the planet, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, will collect life changing shoe boxes-filled with essential school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys during National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23.

In preparation for collection season, the Southeast Ohio Area Team is excited to extend the following invitation to all Lawrence County project leaders, and community members who have or who are interested in packing shoe boxes, to attend a local project leaders workshop in person or via Zoom.

The Operation Christmas Child National Project Leader Workshop will take place from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Sept. 12.

One option is to take part in person at First Baptist Church, located at 304 S. Fifth St. in Ironton; Union Baptist Church, located at 10109 State Route 141 in Kitts Hills; or Tri-State Worship Center at 901 Solida Road in South Point.

However, if those who don’t feel comfortable attending the workshop in person can take part in a virtual Project Leader Workshop through Zoom.

Due to COVID-19, it is requested that participants pre-register for either option by contacting Deidra Libby at 740-418-2082 or dlibby84@outlook.com for either option.

For information about project leaders workshop opportunities in the area, contact Huntington Area Coordinator Rebecca Parker Moore at 774-641-2784.

Since 1993, more than 178 million hope filled shoebox gifts have been delivered to children in 160 countries and territories. Last year, many shoeboxes packed by Lawrence County families, churches, schools and community groups went to Mozambique, Madagascar and Burundi.

In 2020, through the volunteer network across the U.S., Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect 11 million lovingly packed shoebox gifts to reach children in countries like Peru, Rwanda and the Ukraine. During National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23, the three Lawrence County Drop-Off sites will again be open to drop off your treasure-filled gift boxes.

One convenient and personal way to pack shoebox gifts directly from home is to go to samaritanspurse.org/occ and build a shoebox online. You may make it your own by choosing from a list of gifts, then adding a letter and a photo. Operation Christmas Child will pack it for you and send it off.

Looking forward to the coming season, please be assured that Samaritan’s Purse is monitoring local, state and national guidelines and making adjustments to help protect the health of everyone involved in the collecting and processing of shoebox gifts.

To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, please visit samaritanspurse.org/occ or contact SE Ohio Area Team Area Coordinator Sherrie Klingaman at 740-395-6468.