Yosemite Church said it will serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child, "the world’s largest Christmas project."
With the help of Merced volunteers, Merced residents will pack shoebox gifts for children in more than 100 countries. The recipients suffer from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty, according to a news release from the church.
From Merced, the shoebox gifts will be sorted and sent to children around the world.
"Through this project, anyone can be a part of giving love and hope in a shoe box," said Dave Willson, Operation Christmas Child drop-off coordinator. "Those who help at the Merced drop-off location find it fun to watch as filled shoeboxes stack up that have been donated by our generous community."
Yosemite Church said Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to "follow your box" to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org.
Local collection site:
Yosemite Church, 2230 East Yosemite Ave., Merced, CA, 95340; (800) 383-4984
Mon – Fri: 2 p.m. – 5p.m.
Sat – Sun: Noon – 5p.m.
Mon Nov. 23: 10am – Noon
Last year, the Merced area contributed 4,360 boxes to the Operation Christmas Child effort, the church said.. This year, organizers hope to collect 4,400 gift-filled shoeboxes from families, kids, churches, schools and civic organizations in the area.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 69 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in some 130 countries, the news release said.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (714) 432-7030 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week is Nov. 16-23.