1. Collections begin this week
National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child is Nov. 12-18, and there are three Lake Norman locations being used as drop-off sites during that time. Those are Hopewell Baptist Church, 18841 Davidson-Concord Road in Davidson; Berea Baptist Church, 1015 River Hwy. in Mooresville; and Denver Baptist Church, 3549 N.C 16 N. in Denver. The hours those churches and other sites are accepting donations are found at www.samaritanspurse.org.
2. The program is through Samaritan’s Purse
Samaritan’s Purse, based out of Boone, is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world, its website states. Since 1970, the organization has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine. In its 25th year, Operation Christmas Child provides toys, school supplies and hygiene items to millions of boys and girls around the world.
3. There are certain items that can be donated
The first step is to start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If people want to wrap it, they may cover the box and lid separately. Next, decide whether the box will be given to a boy or a girl, and the age of that child. The organization suggests starting with a “wow” item such as a stuffed animal, soccer ball or outfit that will capture the child’s attention. Crafts and activities are suggested for younger children, while school supplies work well for those 5 and older. In all cases, a personal note provides a nice touch.
4. Some things shouldn’t be shipped in boxes
Samaritan’s Purse does not want people to have boxes that include candy; toothpaste; gum; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; seeds; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; or drink mixes. A full list of banned items can be found on the Samaritan Purse website by clicking on the FAQ tab.
5. Boxes can be tracked
Dana Williams of Samaritan’s Purse said Davidson volunteers hope to collect more than 31,000 gifts to contribute to the 2018 goal of reaching 11 million children in need. Every shoebox needs a $9 donation to provide for collecting, processing, shipping and other project costs. If you make this donation online, you can follow your box and receive a tracking label.