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Operation Christmas Child underway in Pike County

Published 11:00pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Salem-Troy Baptist Association has been the relay center for 17 of the 20 years of Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child.

And, in each of those years, the number of people who have opened their hearts and packed shoeboxes for children in need has increased.

Linda Adams, coordinator for the Salem-Troy Baptist Association Relay Center, said that last year the people of Pike County donated 2,400 shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child.

“Every year the number has grown and I think it’s because people know Operation Christmas Child is real,” Adams said. “They know the gifts are going to be delivered to children in different countries and most of then will be getting a gift for the first time. They know the power of a simple gift.”

Adams said that churches, clubs, organizations, schools and individuals participate in the annual Operation Christmas Child shoebox project.

“It’s simple and easy to participate and it means the world to children who have very little to look forward to,” Adams said. “Use an empty cardboard or average size plastic shoebox. Wrapping is not required but, if you want to wrap it, that’s okay.

“Label the box as to whether it’s a boy or girl and the age category, two to four, five to nine or 10-14 and fill the box with gifts. Make sure to include a $7 donation per box to help cover shipping and other costs.”

Adams suggested school supplies, small blankets, picture books, caps, tee shirts, small stuffed animals, hair clips, flashlights with batteries, sunglasses, coloring books and crayons, puzzles, combs, brushes and hygiene items.

“If you include soap, Ivory is good because it floats and many of the children bathe in the river and Ivory won’t sink to the bottom,” Adams said. “Toys are always good with the exception of guns or any war related items. Glass items and candies that melt should not be included.”

Once the shoeboxes are packed, they can be delivered to the Salem-Troy Baptist Association office at 317 Ray Avenue in Troy just off George Wallace Drive and behind Bush Memorial Baptist Church.

The week of Nov. 18-25 is Operation Christmas Child Collection Week across the country.

The items boxed at the Salem-Troy Baptist Association relay center will be delivered to the processing center in Atlanta and shipped from there to children around the world.

Relay center hours during Collection Week, Nov. 18-25, will be from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. until noon on Friday; 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday; 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday; and 8 until 10 a.m. Monday.

Adams said the shoeboxes will be delivered to the processing center in Atlanta on Nov. 25.

“We hope to have even more shoeboxes donated this year than last year,” she said. “More than 700 boxes have already been delivered to the relay center. You can particicipate as part of a group or individually. Either way a shoebox brings a lot of happiness to a child.”

Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 100 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 100 countries. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Operation Christmas Child expects to collect another 9.8 million shoebox gifts in 2013.

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