Collection starts for ‘world’s largest Christmas project’

During National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23, local collection sites will work to help Samaritan’s Purse, an international nonprofit, by working to meet the goal of collecting 59,716 “Shoebox Gifts” for children in poverty overseas, according to a media release.

“Through the simple act of filling a shoebox, someone in Dayton can make a tangible difference in the life of a child halfway around the world,” said Sandra Gargas, a Dayton-area volunteer who’s participated for eight years. “Anyone can participate and bring joy to a child facing difficult circumstances.”

The 2015 goal is to reach 11 million children in need.

The shoeboxes can be filled with items such as a doll, soccer ball, toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement, according to the release.

Dayton collection sites include:

  • Agape Bible Fellowship, 2560 N. Main Street, Dayton, Ohio 45405. Times are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 16-19; 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 20; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 21-22; and 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 23.
  • Church of the Carpenter, 5711 Shull Road, Dayton, Ohio 45424. Times are 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 16-22; and 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 23.
  • Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 4865 Wilmington Pike, Dayton, Ohio 45440. Times are 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16-20; 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21; 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 22; and 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Nov. 23.
  • Miami Shores Baptist Church, 4000 Vance Road, Dayton, Ohio 45439. Times are 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 16-20; 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 21; 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 22; and 9 to 11 p.m. Nov. 23.
  • The Gathering, 8911 Yankee Street, Dayton, Ohio 45458. Times are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16-20; 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 21; 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 22; and 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 23.
  • Wyoming Street Churches of Christ in Christian Union, 366 Wyoming Street, Dayton, Ohio 45410. Times are 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 16-22; and 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 23.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in over 150 countries and territories.

For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 937-475-7536 or visit Samaritan’s Purse online to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement and “pack” them in a shoebox.

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