Local site to collect gift-filled shoe boxes

Volunteers working to collect 6,000 gifts for kids in need this Christmas

While many Cambridge families are busy with holiday activities, a group of local volunteers is focused on filling empty shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, hygiene items and notes of encouragement for kids in need overseas.

Cambridge families are participating in the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind—Operation Christmas Child—an effort that has hand-delivered 86 million gifts to kids worldwide since 1993.

This year-round project of Samaritan’s Purse is coming to its peak, as local businesses, churches and schools prepare to collect gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week, Nov. 14-21. Volunteers can drop off their shoe box gifts at one location in the area to help kids in 100 countries know they are loved and not forgotten.

New Hope Community Church, 2440 Main St. S., Cambridge, will serve as a local collection site.

Operating hours are Monday through Friday, Nov. 14-18, 3 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 20, 1 to 4 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, uses whatever means necessary to reach suffering children around the world with these gifts of hope, including sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats, camels and dog sleds. Tracking technology also allows donors to “follow” their box to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need.

To register shoe box gifts and find out the destination country, use the Follow Your Box donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

What you can do to get involved:

PREPARE—Enlist families, churches, scout troops, community groups and businesses to take part in creating shoe box gifts for needy children worldwide.

PACK—Fill shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items and a letter of encouragement.  Step-by-step shoe box packing instructions are available at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

PROCESS—Sign up to join Operation Christmas Child volunteers at collection sites in Cambridge as part of the effort to prepare millions of shoe box gifts for delivery to underprivileged kids on six continents.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 612-359-7025 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.