Next week, Altus individuals, families and groups are joining millions of people across the United States to fill empty shoeboxes with gifts for 9.8 million suffering children around the world as part of “Operation Christmas Child.”
During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 18 through Nov. 25, the collection site in the Altus area will be bustling with activity as an estimated 1,200 colorfully wrapped shoebox gifts are dropped off by residents.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. Through simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many of these children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received.
A year-round, online giving tool also conveniently allows anyone to build a box. By visiting the project’s website at samaritanspurse.org
, participants can select a child’s age and gender, shop through an online selection of gifts, virtually “pack” an empty shoebox, and finish it off by writing a note of encouragement. Operation Christmas Child volunteers will pack the shoebox gifts and ship them on behalf of the donors.
Using special tracking technology, participants can also “follow” their shoebox and discover the country in which their gift will be delivered to a child in need. To register a shoebox gift, use the donation form online.
Hundreds of local volunteers will be working hard to pack and transport the boxes to the next stop on their journey to a child in need.
The Altus collection site is located at the Southwest Baptist Association, 2515 N. Main in Altus. Operating hours are: today through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m; Sunday, Nov. 24 from 12 to 12: p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 25 from 9 to 10 a.m.
For more information, locally contact Charlene Stephens at 580-471-6925, or call (800) 567-8580 to find a drop-off site near you. You can also visit samaritanspurse.org/occ for more information.