Operation Christmas Child's National Collection Week is fast approaching.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.  The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories, Linda Williams, of Operation Christmas Child South Central Missouri, says. 

During the project’s National Collection Week — Nov. 18 – Nov. 25 — there will be ten sites in the South Central Missouri Area designated as drop off locations for shoebox gifts. Anyone can show God’s love to children in need by packing a shoebox with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, Williams says. 

“Many of our South Central Missouri volunteers hope to collect more than 12,000 gifts to contribute to the Samaritan’s Purse project’s 2019 goal of reaching 11 million children in need,” Williams says.

Items accepted include: stuffed animals, soccer ball with pump, or clothing outfit that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box. 

Gift suggestions according to age and gender for other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies to fill the shoebox can be found at: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebox-suggestions/

Items not accepted 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; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.