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Russellville opens drop-off location for global children’s Christmas charity

The Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child – the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind – has begun, and First United Methodist Church of Russellville will once again serve as a drop-off point for shoeboxes filled with good things for children in need.

During National Collection Week, Nov. 14-21, the community is encouraged to donate shoeboxes—filled with school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and fun toys, such as a doll or soccer ball—for Operation Christmas Child to deliver to children in need around the world. This year, Russellville and surrounding cities’ residents hope to contribute more than 51,000 shoebox gifts toward the 2016 global goal of reaching 12 million children.

“The shoebox gifts donated by volunteers at these drop-off locations will shine a light of hope to children living in poverty overseas,” said regional leader Shelli Wishard. “Anyone is welcome to pack a shoebox and help a child facing difficult circumstances to feel loved and not forgotten.”

At FUMC, donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 14-18 and 21; Nov. 19 from 9-11 a.m.; Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and also Nov. 16 from 5-7 p.m.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 770-777-9342 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. By going online to give the suggested donation of $7 per shoebox gift, participants can follow their box to discover where in the world it will be delivered. They can also pack a shoebox gift online and even upload a photo and note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. “The mission of Operation Christmas Child is 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 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.”

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