Valley joins campaign to pack Christmas joy into shoe boxes

Staff report


As Thanksgiving nears, Youngstown-area families, businesses, schools and churches are participating in Operation Christmas Child, where people fill empty shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and necessity items for impoverished children around the world.

This year, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone of collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children.

Mahoning Valley residents hope to contribute 3,000 shoe box gifts to this year’s global collection goal of 9 million gift-filled shoe boxes to help surpass the 100 million milestone.

The year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week, which begins Monday and continued through Nov. 19.

Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at these local collection sites, which include:

Calvary Baptist Church, 1463 Shields Road, Boardman. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 4 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Rudolph Braydich Jr. is the site coordinator and can be reached at 330-792-7873.

Poland Presbyterian Church, 2 Poland Manor, Poland. Hours are 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 to 11 a.m. Sunday; and 9 to 10 a.m. Nov. 19. Stephanie Haught is site coordinator and can be reached at 330-757-1547.

Tabernacle Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 2432 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and 9 a.m. to noon. Nov. 19. Sandra Sullivan is site coordinator and can be reached at 330-565-8057.

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