Local families make global impact through Operation Christmas Child

Above, Emmanuel Baptist Church's life size shoebox at this year's Range Call parade. Grab a newspaper, download the Zappar app to your smartphone or tablet, and scan the code on the page for shoebox packing suggestions. Caitlin Walker Photo
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MEEKER | Emmanuel Baptist Church in Meeker will be among 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoebox gifts for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19.
Meeker families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.
This year, Meeker-area residents hope to collect more than 10,000 gifts to contribute to the 2018 global goal of reaching 11 million children.
“We are honored to be linking arms with our community to help children around the world experience the true meaning of Christmas,” said regional director Paul Fischbach, “These simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”
Emmanuel Baptist is located at 1191 Market St. Drop-off times will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 12-13, 4-6 p.m. Nov. 14. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov 15, 5-7 p.m. Nov. 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Nov. 17, 1-3 p.m. Nov. 18, 9-11 a.m. Nov. 19.
Start with a quality “wow” item such as a stuffed animal, soccer ball with pump, or clothing outfit that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box. See our gift suggestions according to age and gender listed below for other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies to fill the shoebox. Do not include candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; seeds; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items, such as snow globes or glass containers; or aerosol cans. There are three age groups. Labels and boxes are available at the Meeker Embroidery store at the corner of Fifth and Main. If you have questions, contact Stella McGruder at 878-5162.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 303-745-9179, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.
Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Special to the Herald Times