2017-11-09 / Religion & Family

Operation Christmas Child now collecting items

This month, several loca­tions throughout northeast Michigan will serve as drop-off sites for the Samari­tan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child – joining nearly 5,000 U.S. loca­tions collecting gift-filled shoeboxes for children in need around the world.

During the project’s national collec­tion week, Nov. 13–20, Houghton Lake residents will transform empty shoebox­es into gifts of hope filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys. Operation Christmas Child will deliver these shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

Houghton Lake Wesleyan Church, 5599 West Houghton Lake Dr., is again a drop-off location for 2017. The hours of operation this year are: Nov. 13-17, from 5 to 7 p.m.; Nov. 18, from 1 to 3 p.m.; Nov. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m.; and Nov. 20, from 8 to 10 a.m.

Volunteer Coordinator Margaret Nutt suggested donors bring small toys and books; however, not to donate any mili­tary items, candy or liquids. She said that hygiene items may be donated, but not toothpaste.

This year, the northeast Michigan area team hopes to contribute more than 4,000 shoebox gifts toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million chil­dren.

“We are honored to join the nation­wide effort to collect gift-filled shoe­boxes for children who may have never experienced the true meaning of Christ­mas,” Regional Manager Jenna Lupo said. “Through these simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them.”

Donors may also make a $9-per- shoebox donation online through “Fol­low Your Box” and receive a special tracking label to discover the destination of their shoebox gift.

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