SELMA – Local organizers of the Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive are gearing up for the holiday season and will be accepting donations from
Nov. 12-19 at Selma’s First Baptist Church, 2025 Grant St.
Don and Peggy Pauley are year-round volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse, the nondenominational Christian organization that organizes the shoebox gifts.
The organization provides spiritual and physical aid to victims of war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty and persecution in more than 100 countries with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son Jesus Christ, Pauley said.
They began collecting gift-filled shoeboxes for children in war-torn Bosnia in 1993 and since then 157 million children around the world have benefitted from Operation Christmas Child.
The goal for Fresno/Madera County area is to provide 25,000 boxes.
To participate, use a standard-sized shoebox made of cardboard or plastic. Decide if you want to pack for a boy or girl and decide the age range from between 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.
Select items such as a doll, soccer ball with pump and needle, stuffed animal or a handmade item and then add hygiene products, school supplies or toys. For a list of suggestions items, go to samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Include a photo and letter and place a $9 donation on the top of the box to cover shipping and other project costs. If you are donating several boxes, write one check to cover the cost of all the boxes. “Most importantly, remember to pray for the child who will receive your gift,” Pauley said.
Please do not include candy, toothpaste, used items, war-related items, chocolate or food, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins or breakable items. See a list of what can and cannot go in a shoebox gift at samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collect Week which is Nov 12-19.
Drop off at Selma’s First Baptist Church is 3-5 p.m. Nov. 12-16, from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 17, noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 18 and 9-11 a.m. Nov. 19.
Kingsburg Evangelical Covenant Church is having a yard sale Oct. 5-6 to raise funds to purchase items for the shoe boxes. Contract Signe Bakker at 859-6877 for details.
For those who are unable to shop for shoe box gifts, a box may be built online at samaritanspurse.org/occ for a suggested donation of $25.
If your church or organization wants to participate in Operation Christmas Child, contact the Pauleys at 897-2501 and they’ll make a presentation for your group.
Pauley said that after receiving shoebox gifts, the children are invited back to participate in a discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. During this 12-lesson course, children come to know Christ, grow in faith and learn how to share the gospel with others.