The collection week is approaching for the shoeboxes | Community News

National Operation Christmas Child Fundraising Week runs November 15-22 and will give residents of west-central Pennsylvania the chance to make an impact in the lives of millions of children around the world.

The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses shoeboxes full of gifts to show God’s love to children affected by war, poverty, disaster, famine and disease.

Shoe boxes are packaged for boys and girls of three age groups (2-4, 5-9 and 10-14) and share gifts like clothing, accessories, non-liquid personal hygiene items , school supplies and toys.

The ministry encourages individuals to include a “wow” item such as a deflated soccer ball with a pump, doll, toy truck, musical instruments and stuffed animals.

People can also include personal notes of encouragement and photographs. Samaritan’s Purse is asking for a donation of $ 9 to ship and process each shoebox.

Shoe boxes must not contain used or damaged items; toys relating to war; sweets or other food products; aerosols; toothpaste, lotions or liquids; drugs or vitamins; sharp objects; and fragile items.

“A simple shoebox had a profound impact on my own life as a 13-year-old girl who grew up in communist Romania,” said Izabella McMillon, head of the ministry’s speakers bureau.

“The brand new items in my shoebox were like a pop of color in my black and white world – and a direct answer to a specific prayer. This experience showed me that God saw me and heard my prayers.

“A gift given without any conditions can have a tangible and everlasting impact, even opening the door of a child’s heart to accept God’s love in a personal way.

Individuals can learn how to wrap a shoebox, see other gift suggestions, get a “Track Your Box” tag, and find the nearest drop-off location at

In 2020, some 7,809,410 million gifts were wrapped nationwide for Operation Christmas Child, with 415,403 built online.

It has been a banner year for Build a Shoebox Online and due to the partnership in communities across the United States more people than ever have chosen to participate in this way.

Combined with those collected from partner countries in 2020, the ministry sent more than 9,113,853 shoebox gifts to children around the world.

Locally, the West Central PA area collected 13,835 shoebox gifts. The area encompasses the communities of Clearfield, Jefferson and Indiana counties.

In 2021, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach 9.7 million children and for most, this will be their first gift.

Filled shoe boxes can be dropped off at the following locations and times:

• United Methodist Church buying line, 17107 Route 286, Commodore: 4 pm to 6 pm November 15-18; from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on November 19; 10 a.m. to noon on November 20; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. November 21; and from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on November 22

• Hilltop Baptist Church, 4859 Route 286, White Township: 10 am to 2 pm on November 15, 16, 18 and 19; from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 17; 9 a.m. to noon on November 20; 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on November 21; and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on November 22

• Hilltop Baptist Church (Blairsville Campus), 35 W. Campbell St., Blairsville: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm November 15; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on November 16 and 17; 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on November 18; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on November 19; noon to 2 p.m. on November 20; from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on November 21; and from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on November 22

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