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Operation Christmas Child to kick off

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Shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene products will be once again get shipped to children in war zones and other global hot spots.

Local churches serve as drop-off sites for Operation Christmas Child, an international gift drive led by the Christian humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse. The nationwide collection week kicks off Nov. 18.

First Baptist Church and Browns Valley Christian Church will accept donations through Nov. 25. The boxes are sent to Samaritan’s Purse teams in more than 100 countries. West central Indiana coordinator Marjorie Tate helped distribute boxes to churches, schools and orphanages in Tanzania in June.

“The joy of the children was immense and it wanted to make me pack more shoeboxes,” Tate said.

Collections hours at First Baptist are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 18-22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23, 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 24 and 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 25.

Browns Valley has set the following drop-off times:

• Nov. 18: 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m.

• Nov. 19: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

• Nov. 20: 1 to 7:30 p.m.

• Nov. 21: 10:30 a.m. to noon

• Nov. 22: 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

• Nov. 23: 7 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

• Nov. 24: 8:30 a.m. to noon and 5 to 7:30 p.m.

• Nov. 25: 6 to 8 a.m.

In Fountain County, collection sites are Covington Church of the Nazarene and Wabash Valley Bible Baptist in Attica.

Samaritan’s Purse wants to collect 10,002 shoeboxes in west central Indiana this year. More than 9,000 were collected last season.

Since 1993, more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes have been distributed to children in more than 160 countries and territories, according to Samaritan’s Purse.

For more information about how to participate, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ or call 937-374-0761.

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