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Operation Christmas Child collection week starts November 15

Posted by: tdt -

Operation Christmas Child collection week starts November 15

By Bill Kelly

As the holidays approach, it is once again time for shoebox collection for Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

Collection week is always the week before Thanksgiving, so this year it is from Monday November 15-Monday November 22. The collection center for Dalhart and the surrounding area is once again People’s Church at 1929 Apache Drive. Collection hours are from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day except for Monday November 22. On that day, shoeboxes can only be dropped off from 8-10 a.m. The shoeboxes will be loaded onto a trailer at 10 a.m. on November 22 and taken to the central drop-off center in Amarillo. In Amarillo, they are loaded onto semi tractortrailers and sent to Dallas for processing and shipping to their final destinations around the world. The local collection center receives shoeboxes not just from Dalhart, but from the surrounding areas including the Oklahoma Panhandle and the area around Clayton, New Mexico.

For those who haven’t heard of this program, the shoeboxes that are collected are filled with gifts for children who don’t normally receive gifts, either at Christmas or any other time of year. Everyone who is willing is encouraged to fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, including at least one medium or larger size toy that will fit in the box. Gum, candy, and toothpaste are no longer allowed due to customs regulations, but other hygiene items are allowed. A personal note of encouragement and even a photo can also be included, and these are the favorites of many of the children who receive the shoeboxes.

Empty shoeboxes are available in the outer foyer at the People’s Church along with regular shoebox labels or new shoebox tracking labels where shipping can be paid online to track the destination country of your shoebox. Those donating shoeboxes are asked to also donate $9 per box to help cover the cost of shipping.

Curbside pick-up at the People’s Church will be available for those who would like this, but shoeboxes can be taken inside the church this year unlike last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic made that problematic. Being able to take shoeboxes into the church gives those who are bringing shoeboxes a chance for fellowship. Shoeboxes can also be built and sent online.

The local collection center received a total of 1,371 shoeboxes last year. Statistically, there is a salvation for every 6.5 shoeboxes, so statistically there were 211 salvations from the shoeboxes sent across the world from this area.

The 2021 goal is 9.7 million shoeboxes globally. Last year, even with COVID, there was less than a 10% reduction in the total shoeboxes received, which was 9,113,853 worldwide, with 7,809,410 of those shoeboxes coming from the United States. Since 1993, more than 188 million children in more than 170 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

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