• 68°

Chilton County kicks off collection for Operation Christmas Child

Verbena kids, families and groups will celebrate the upcoming collection season for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, which has a goal of collecting enough gift-filled shoeboxes to reach 11 million children in 2015.

Verbena Baptist Church will open its doors for a special event featuring Donna Baldwin, who will introduce a new drop-off location in Chilton County.

Sue Valentour, community relations team member; Beth Roscher, church relations team member, and Stephanie Gates, Birmingham Area Network Coordinator, will speak.

Operation Christmas Child supplies also will be provided.

The event will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Verbena Baptist Church, located at 180 County Road 500 in Verbena.

From Nov. 16–23, Chilton County residents can drop off shoeboxes packed with a “Wow!” item—like a doll or soccer ball—and other fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items at Verbena Baptist Church and The Church at Bethel in Thorsby.

The Chilton County collection center will be the first stop on a journey across the world for thousands of gifts packed by local residents. The boxes are then prepared and delivered to children overseas using whatever means necessary—boats, airplanes, trains and even elephants.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries and territories.

In 2015, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children, with 45,000 coming from the Birmingham Area (Chilton, Shelby, Jefferson, Talladega, Clay, St. Clair and Blount counties).

For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call Beth Roscher at (205) 478-1095.

With a computer or mobile device, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift on the Samaritan’s Purse website. These gifts will go to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries.

Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement, and “pack” them in a shoebox.

Using special tracking technology, participants can discover where in the world their gifts will be delivered to children in need.

To register a shoebox gift, use the online donation form at samaritanspurse.org/occ.