Operation Christmas Child is a global outreach project for children. It is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international ministry led by Franklin Graham, eldest son of evangelist Billy Graham and the late Ruth Graham. Since 2000, SmartMoney magazine cited Samaritan’s Purse as the most efficient religious charity in the United States.
The shoebox: Use an empty shoebox of standard size or a comparable small plastic container. Wrap the box and lid separately though wrapping is not required.
The recipients: Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4 years old, 5-9 or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label, which is available at www.samaritanspurse.org, or get one off an OCC brochure. Mark the correct age category on the label and tape label to top of box.
Appropriate gifts: Toys such as small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, or ones that light up or make noise (include batteries and extras); school supplies such as pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books; hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb and washcloth; other items such as hard candy and lollipops (double bagged), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches and flashlights (with extra batteries); and a personal note to the child. Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box.
Do not include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers, and aerosol cans.
Donation: Give $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs.
Collection: National collection week for Operation Christmas Child is Monday through Nov. 24. For information, call (800) 668-4890.
Area collection sites and times
Abundant Life Fellowship, 6469 state Route 46, New Waterford: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 22; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 23.
Beloit Evangelical Friends Church, 18042 Fifth St., Beloit: 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Nov. 21; 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 22; noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 23; and Nov. 24, not collecting.
Calvary Baptist Church, 1463 Shields Road, Boardman: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22; noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 23; and Nov. 24, no collection.
Poland Presbyterian Church, 2 Poland Manor, Poland: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 22; 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 23; and Nov. 24, no collection.
Warren Collection Center, 5000 E. Market St,, Suite 19, Warren: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 21-24.