Operation Christmas Child ready to take shoebox donations

This month, several locations in the multicounty Big River Iowa Area Team will serve as drop-off sites for the Samaritan?s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, joining nearly 5,000 U.S. locations to collect gift-filled shoe boxes for children in need around the world.

During the project?s National Collection Week, Nov. 13?20, Mt. Pleasant residents will transform empty shoe boxes into gifts of hope filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys. Operation Christmas Child will deliver these shoe box gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

This year, the Big River Iowa Area Team hopes to contribute more than 9,286 shoe box gifts toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million children.

?We are honored to join the nationwide effort to collect gift-filled shoe boxes for children who may have never experienced the true meaning of Christmas,? Regional Director for Operation Christmas Child Nicole Sheldon said. ?Through these simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them.?

In Mr. Pleasant, shoe boxes can be dropped off at Mt. Pleasant Christian School at 1505 E. Washington St. In Burlington, shoe boxes can be dropped off at Great River Christian School at 426 Harrison Ave. in Burlington. Donations are being accepted Monday, Nov. 13. to Monday, Nov. 20.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 612-369-7023 or visit Participants can donate $9 per shoe box gift online through ?Follow Your Box? and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse to select gifts matched to a child?s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoe box by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan?s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God?s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.