Operation Christmas Child to accept donations

Published 11:43 am Friday, October 27, 2017

Rock Church of Franklin, South Quay Baptist Church of Suffolk and Tucker Swamp Baptist Church of Zuni have been designated this year’s Western Tidewater drop-off sites for Operation Christmas Child, an interdenominational Christian ministry that provides underprivileged children around the world with gifts on Christmas Day.

Donations will be accepted during the week of Nov. 13-20. To participate, area residents are asked to fill an average-sized plastic or cardboard shoebox with gifts suitable for either a boy or a girl age 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Some churches may offer preprinted shoeboxes. Suggested gift items include toys, hygiene items, school supplies and one medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with a pump or a stuffed animal.

According to Tammy Lindsay, Operation Christmas Child’s coordinator for the Western Tidewater area, the localities of Franklin, Southampton, Isle of Wight and Suffolk contributed a combined total of 5,853 shoeboxes last year. The national total for the United States last year was around 9.1 million shoeboxes.

In addition to gifts, each shoebox will also include literature on a 12-week discipleship program called “The Greatest Journey,” which teaches children about Jesus Christ, how to grow in their faith and how to share the gospel with others, Lindsay said. Last year, around 3.5 million children enrolled in “The Greatest Journey” worldwide and of those, 1.6 million went on to accept Christ, were baptized and received a Bible in their native language.

The shoeboxes will be shipped to 100 countries around the world to children who are in the most need. Most shoeboxes from the Western Tidewater area are sent to countries in Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

“It could be children in an orphanage, living in a disaster zone or living under a bridge,” Lindsay said. “Most are children who have never received a gift before in their lives.”

For more information, call Lindsay at 238-3794 or email tlkidsRN@verizon.net. Or visit www.samaritanspurse.org  and click on “Operation Christmas Child” under the “What We Do” menu. The drop-off sites will accept shoeboxes at the following times:

Rock Church of Franklin

• Monday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Tuesday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 16, noon to 4 p.m.

• Friday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Saturday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 20, 9-11 a.m.

South Quay Baptist Church of Suffolk

• Monday, Nov. 13, 9-11 a.m.

• Tuesday, Nov. 14, 4-6 p.m.

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 4-6 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 4-6 p.m.

• Friday, Nov. 17, 2-4 p.m.

• Saturday, Nov. 18, 3-5 p.m.

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3-6 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 20, 9-11 a.m.

Tucker Swamp Baptist Church of Zuni

• Monday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. to noon

• Tuesday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. to noon

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 4-8 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 9 a.m. to noon

• Friday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to noon

• Saturday, Nov. 18, 3-5 p.m.

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 1-3 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.