Photo courtesy of Samaritan's Purse.
Numerous locations in Southern California will serve as collection sites for Operation Christmas Child, a large-scale holiday gift drive.
Organized by Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization, the gift drive encourages families, churches and community groups to give to millions of children-in-need around the world.
During National Collection Week, starting November 16 and running through November 23, Greater Long Beach and Orange County residents hope to give over 106,400 gift-filled shoeboxes to this year’s global goal of reaching 11 million children, according to a release.
Participants can fill these shoeboxes with a “Wow!” item, such as a doll or soccer ball or other toy alongside school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. For many of the recipients, this will be the first gift they have ever received, according to the release.
“Through a simple gift of a shoebox, you can bring hope and show the love of Jesus Christ to children in impoverished countries,” said Sheila Potter of Bellflower in a statement. Potter has been a year-round volunteer with Operation Christmas Child for seven years.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 different countries and territories, according to the release.
Long Beach residents can drop off their filled shoeboxes at Bethany Lutheran Church in Long Beach, located at 4644 Clark Avenue.
For more information about how to participate, drop-off locations and hours and to volunteer a the processing center, click here or call 714.432.7030.