Operation Christmas Child aims to reach millions of children with hope this year

Staff Writer
Jackson Newspapers
Jackson Newspapers

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause fear and uncertainty, Samaritan’s Purse is calling on churches and families to pack more shoebox gifts than ever before for Operation Christmas Child—making sure millions of children experience the Good News and great joy of the holiday. Samaritan’s Purse is committed to its mission of reaching millions of children across the globe with hope.

“Much of the world has been gripped with fear, and this is especially hard for children,” president of Samaritan’s Purse Franklin Graham said. “Now more than ever, these boys and girls need to know God loves them. Operation Christmas Child delivers the hope found only in Jesus Christ.”

The Samaritan’s Purse project has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts—filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys—to children worldwide for more than two decades. This is a mission project that everyone can still be a part of, even with COVID-19 restrictions. Simply pack shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items, and fun toys. Then, bring them to one of more than 4,000 Drop-Off Locations during National Collection Week Nov. 16-23.

Jackson County drop-off locations include:

• Parchment Valley Baptist Church located at 1883 Ripley Road in Ripley. Their collection hours are as follows: Nov. 16-19 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Nov. 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Nov. 22 from 2-4 p.m.; Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

• Calvary Baptist Church located at 302 Henry Street in Ravenswood. Their collection hours are: Nov. 16-20 from 6-8 p.m.; Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Even if churches and groups are not yet meeting, families are encouraged to pack shoebox gifts at home. Through Operation Christmas Child’s network of thousands of churches around the world, God uses these simple gifts to make an eternal impact.

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, everyone can bless a child in need.

The organization also offers an option to virtually pack a shoebox gift. Through this online tool, churches and groups can also set up a goal page to rally together to reach a larger goal. It’s easy—simply set a goal, invite your friends, and start packing! Whether your goal is 50 shoeboxes or 5,000, anyone can create a Goal Page and work together with church members, friends, and family to share the hope of the Gospel with children around the world.

Those interested in more information on Operation Christmas Child COVID-19 protocols, can visit Important COVID-19 Updates for the latest information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks 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 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.