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Operation Christmas Child kicks off

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Friday, November 9, 2018

Collection for Operation Christmas Child is beginning at the Harrison Family YMCA this week and will pick up again next week at several locations in the Twin Counties.

Local residents can drop off small toy items, hygiene products — except toothpaste — and shoe boxes today in the collection box at the Harrison Family YMCA. The YMCA is also collecting donations to help defray the suggested $9 per box cost to ship shoe boxes filled with much-needed items to children around the world.

The YMCA is also looking for volunteers for their Packing Party that will run from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Volunteers will sort donated items and pack Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes that will be delivered next week to an area drop-off location.

Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. The annual Samaritan’s Purse project is a favorite of many Rocky Mount residents, families, churches and groups who spread joy to millions of children around the world by filling shoe boxes with a “Wow!” item — like a doll or soccer ball — other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement, according to a press release from the organization.

“Shoe box gifts are filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items to share God's love with millions of boys and girls around the world through the Samaritan's Purse project. Rocky Mount volunteers hope to collect more than 16,500 gifts to contribute to Operation Christmas Child's 2018 goal of reaching 11 million children in need,” said Dana Williams of Samaritan’s Purse. 

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoe boxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, a gift-filled shoe box is the first gift they have ever received, the release said.

National Collection Week is Nov. 12-19. There are several collection sites in the Twin Counties.

Calvary Baptist Church at 505 S. Englewood Drive will be accepting shoe boxes from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 12-15, from 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 16-17 and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 18-19.

Bailey Baptist Church at 6646 Deans St. in Bailey will accept boxes from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 12-13, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 14-16, from 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 18 and from 9 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 19.

First Baptist Church at 605 N. Main St. in Tarboro will be open to receive boxes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 12-16; from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 17-18 and from 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 19.

Hours are subject to change. A full list of items that can be donated and area collection locations can be found online at https://bit.ly/2R6s7ws

Residents who cannot physically pack boxes can choose a convenient online option. With a computer or mobile device, anyone can pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift on the Samaritan’s Purse website. Using special tracking technology, participants can follow their box to see where in the world their gift is delivered by using the donation form found at https://bit.ly/2R6s7ws.

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