Beginning Monday, Operation Christmas Child enters its final week for collection of shoeboxes for children in countries affected by war, poverty, natural disasters and disease.
Monday, Nov. 25, is the final day for those gifts to be delivered to the official collection center in Cleveland, according to Beecher Hunter, president of Life Care Centers of America, a national sponsor of the program.
“We are delighted to continue a tradition we began in 1995 of serving as the collection center for this outreach to children who might not otherwise receive a present for Christmas,” Hunter said.
“More than the gifts that are packed within, these shoeboxes represent love and hope for these boys and girls.”
Since Life Care joined Samaritan’s Purse as a partner in Operation Christmas Child, the company has collected more than 2.5 million shoeboxes – thanks to the churches, schools, civic organizations and families who have supported the project, Hunter said.
“We are grateful for the compassionate concern our citizens here in Southeast Tennessee have shown for the well-being of these children,” said Hunter. “It truly captures the essence of the Christmas spirit.”
Filled shoeboxes may be brought to the Campbell Center, 3001 Keith St.:
- Monday through Friday – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Monday, Nov. 25 – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Contributors should decide whether the gift is for a boy or girl and the age range, (2 to 4, 5 to 9, or 10 to 14).
Fill it with toys that children will immediately embrace, such as dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
Other items to pack include school supplies, personal hygiene items (a toothbrush, soap in a plastic bag, a comb, a washcloth), accessories like T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, etc.
Samaritan’s Purse also highly encourages participants to insert a personal note, with a photo, name and address. This creates a connection and helps the child feel loved.
“Please also help cover shipping and other costs related to delivering the shoebox by donating $7 with each gift,” Hunter noted.
“A check should be made payable to Samaritan’s Purse, or you may go online to the Operation Christmas Child website to pay and discover the destination of your box.”
Hunter also asked that participants place a rubber band around each enclosed shoebox before bringing it to the collection center.
“Operation Christmas Child will make your Christmas celebration a little bit sweeter,” Hunter said.
Founded in 1976, Life Care is a nationwide health care company. It operates or manages more than 220 nursing, post-acute and Alzheimer’s centers in 28 states. For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.