Operation Christmas Child accepting boxes for needy kids this week

Locations in Middlebury and Vergennes this week become local drop-off points for the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child. During National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23, each location will collect shoeboxes packed with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement from generous area donors.
This year, local project coordinators hope to collect 7,450 shoebox gifts to deliver to children in need overseas.
The annual Samaritan’s Purse project is a hit with many area residents, families, churches and groups who spread joy to millions of children around the world by filling shoeboxes with a “Wow!” item — like a doll or soccer ball — as well other toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement.
Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries and territories. The organization said that for many of these children, a gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.
For more information go online to samaritanspurse.org/occ.
The local collection sites and times of collection are:
•  Valley Bible Church, 322 East Main St., Middlebury.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 5-7 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m.-noon; Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, 9-10 a.m.
•  Champlain Valley Christian Reformed Church, 73 Church St., Vergennes.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-noon; Thursday, 3-5 p.m. Friday, 4-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-2 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, 9-10:30 a.m.

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