Regional churches are preparing for Operation Christmas Child, an annual campaign to brighten foreign children’s holiday.
The regional goal is to collect 16,000 gift-filled shoeboxes from churches in Nash, Edgecombe, Wilson and Halifax counties for the program run by Samaritan’s Purse, a nonprofit Christian charity. The boxes are accepted locally from Nov. 12-19. Samaritan’s Purse then will collect the gift boxes and ship them to children worldwide.
Local collection centers include:
- Englewood Baptist Church, 1350 S. Winstead Ave., Rocky Mount.
- First Baptist Church, 605 Main St., Tarboro.
- Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, 5018 Rosebud Church Road, Elm City.
- Scotland Neck United Methodist, 110 W. Ninth St., Scotland Neck.
A campaign kickoff event will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at Englewood Baptist. Information will be provided to participating churches to help them with their collection campaigns and to provide needed supplies. Izabella McMillon, a shoebox recipient as a child in Romania, will discuss how the gift affected her. There also will be praise music and refreshments.
Operation Christmas Child presents the gifts and a message of hope through Christ to children so that they know they are loved and not forgotten. Its goal this year is to collect 9 million gift boxes. It also expects to deliver its 100 millionth box since the program’s start in 1993.
Samaritan’s Purse is a Boone-based relief and evangelism organization headed by the Rev. Franklin Graham
For more information on Operation Christmas Child, call Janie Baker at 252-236-8160 or go to samaritanspurse.org/occ.