Operation Christmas Child

Alpena Free Methodist serving as relay center

It is once again that time of the year for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. This is an opportunity to give to a needy child.

Alpena Free Methodist Church, 175 Ripley, will be the relay center again this year for Alpena County.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has been placing shoeboxes filled with a variety of small gifts such as school supplies into the hands of children in poverty stricken and war ravaged countries.

The beauty of this charitable program is its simplicity. To participate, use a standard size shoebox or similar container with a lid. Decide if the box is for a boy or girl, ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14 and mark the top of the box with this information.

Wrapping is optional (children love the colored paper) but wrap the lid separately. Fill with toys, school supplies, hygiene products, caps, t-shirts and flip flops. Do not include used or damaged items, war related items such as soldiers or guns, chocolate, food, liquid products such as shampoo, medicines, vitamins, breakable items or aerosol cans.

Participants may include photos, notes and hand-drawn pictures. Include a check for $9 payable to Samaritan’s Purse for shipping with a memo on the check line OCC. You can also go to the Samaritan’s Purse website to donate online at www.samaritanspurse.org. Follow the online instructions and Samaritan’s Purse will notify you where your box went.

Collection dates and times at Alpena Free Methodist Church, are Nov. 13-20. Times are Monday (9-11 a.m.), Tuesday (10 a.m.-1 p.m.), Wednesday (3-6 p.m.), Thursday (10 a.m.-1 p.m.), Friday (10 a.m.-noon), Saturday (10 a.m.-noon), Sunday (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) and Monday (8-10 a.m.).

Those with questions may contact the relay coordinator, Jackie Barber, at 464-5426 or assistant relay coordinator Edie Kelley at 354-4250.

Operation Christmas Child is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse charitable relief organization by Rev. Franklin Graham.

Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.

In 2017, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 12 million children. Would you like to be one of those who helps put a smile on a child’s face?

For more information about Operation Christmas Child, other drop-off centers in the region or a complete list of approved items, visit the website.