Operation Christmas Child

Linda Davenport helped stuff shoe boxes with her granddaughter Addison during last year’s Operation Christmas Child packing party at Alamo Heights Baptist Church. The community is welcome to participate in this year’s event. (Contributed photo)

Alamo Heights Baptist Church, located at 110 Trinity Shores Dr. in Port Lavaca, will once again be a drop-off location for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, which is a Christian humanitarian aid organization. OCC collects shoebox gifts filled with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in an up-close and personal way.

Shoeboxes are available at AHBC to be picked up and filled; however, there is a limited number of boxes remaining.

“You can also buy the plastic boxes at either Walmart or the Dollar Stores,” said OCC Drop Off Leader, Candy Lambert. “Those work out great too. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the only gift they receive.”

Anyone can participate in collecting items for OCC, including families, churches, businesses, clubs, or individuals willing to pack a shoebox. It is not necessary to be a member of AHBC to pick up shoeboxes to fill.

AHBC will host its annual packing party at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21. The community is welcomed to attend to learn about the program and help pack boxes. The designated drop times during the OCC National Collection Week are from 11 a.m. to noon and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, through Friday, Nov. 22; 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 23; 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24; and 8-10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 25, at AHBC.

“Last year, we collected 710 shoeboxes,” said Lambert. “We are hoping to see at least 800 to 850 this year. As of now, 11 local churches are participating in the event.”

In the United States last year, more than eight million boxes were collected and delivered to children in many different countries.

To learn more about the program and how to participate, visit www.samaritanspurse.org or call AHBC at 361-552-2532.