Sumner site to collect gift-filled shoeboxes Nov. 13-20

By ERNEST LENTZ,

SUMNER — Beginning late next week, Sumner Baptist Church will serve as a drop-off location for the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, joining nearly 5,000 locations  across the United States collecting gift-filled shoeboxes that will go to children in need overseas.

During the project’s National Collection Week, Nov. 13-20, Tallahatchie County residents will transform empty shoeboxes into gifts of hope filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items.  After being dropped off, Operation Christmas Child will deliver the shoebox gifts to children living in poverty around the world.

This year, Tallahatchie County-area households hope to contribute more than 24,500 shoebox gifts toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million children.

“We have an opportunity in Tallahatchie County to give these simple shoebox gifts that will make a lasting impact on children across the world,” said volunteer Nina Bolden, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for several years.  “For many of these children, this shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. It sends a message that God loves them, and they are not forgotten.”

The Sumner Baptist Church collection site, located at 400 Cassidy St. in Sumner, will be open to the public from Monday, Nov. 13, through Monday, Nov. 20. The operating schedule will be 1-3 p.m. daily, except Nov. 20, when the site will collect shoebox donations from 8-10 a.m.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 662-292-1052 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.  Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.