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National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child

https://youtu.be/c8SBpxzSnEU

This year, there are two locations in Oxford to drop off Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for the National Collection Week, November 16-23.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC), founded in 1993, is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, which was founded by Rev. Billy Graham. Every year, millions of people from across the world fill shoeboxes for children with items such as toys, hygiene materials, school supplies, notes of encouragement and clothing items.

Mae Stone packs OCC shoeboxes.
Mae Stone packs OCC shoeboxes.

First Baptist church on Van Buren Avenue and the Wesley Foundation on Jackson Avenue are receiving shoeboxes all week for National Collection week.

Mae Stone is the relay center coordinator for the Covenant Church of North Mississippi, partnering with the Wesley Foundation this week and is enthusiastic to help OCC.

“Last year, we collected 4,500 shoeboxes and so far we are at 2,800,” Stone said eagerly. “This year, we raised our goal to 6,000.”

 

 

Who Receives the ShoeBoxes? Where do they go?

Mae Stone makes books of the children who receive the shoeboxes.
Mae Stone makes books of the children who receive the shoeboxes.
The faces of children who have received a shoebox from OCC.
The faces of children who have received a shoebox from OCC.

 

The children that receive these items are affected by poverty, war, and natural disasters. OCC promotes the Word of God to these children and their families.

“More than 4.7 million children have participated in The Greatest Journey, the Samaritan’s Purse discipleship program that is offered to many children who receive Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts,” OCC said. “The Greatest Journey is implemented through a global church network to help children learn how to know and follow Jesus.”

 

OCC operates in 150 countries and territories. Every year, the ministry partners with local churches from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.K. to collect these shoeboxes. There are about 4,000 drop off locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico alone.
Anyone who packs a shoebox can pack a boy or girl box. There are three groups of ages that a shoebox can be for- 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.

 

 

Drop Off Locations and Times

Stone, with a group of her sweet church ladies and friends are at the Wesley Foundation this week packing the shoeboxes together to be sent off.

“Each box we pack holds at least 15 shoeboxes,” Stone said. “Now, you can buy shoeboxes from OCC, and that helps with the way we pack. You can get 100 of the shoeboxes for $37.”

Donors can use the OCC shoeboxes or use their own. Some donors use plastic art boxes with snap-on lids to pack their items in.

Operation Christmas Child 007

 

 

“We have been collecting since 2001,” Stone said. “There were collection places in Tupelo and Germantown (Memphis), but we needed a place for people to drop off their shoeboxes in Oxford.”

 

This week, The Wesley Foundation will be open from Mon.- Thurs. 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sun. noon until 2 p.m. and next Mon. 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. for drop offs. The First Baptist Church will also be open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. until 5 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Mon. 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.


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Emily Newton is a staff writer for hottytoddy.com and editor of Experience Oxford magazine. She is a recent graduate of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Emily can be reached at emily.newton@hottytoddy.com. 

 

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