Collection of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child now underway

Published 9:27 am Friday, November 20, 2015

Carter County and Elizabethton families, churches and groups are not waiting until Thanksgiving to express gratitude. Instead, this week they are giving back by packing gifts of toys for children around the world living in extreme poverty or affected by war, disease and natural disaster. For many of these children it will be the first gift they have ever received.
The collection for Operation Christmas Child is underway in Elizabethton and across the area. First Christian Church of Elizabethton is serving as the collection center for Carter County.
“We are here to pray for people who drop off boxes and for the children who will receive the boxes,” said Michael Klaus, minister of First Christian Church. “We are prepared to receive the boxes, whether it be 10 or 10,000.”
About 1200 boxes were received the first day of collections.
First Christian is located at 513 Hattie Avenue, next to the Elizabethton Fire Station in downtown. A parking lot is located at the rear of the building. Drop-off times are today from 4-7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Friday, 2-7 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; and Monday from 9 a.m. to p.m.
First Christian is one of 12 collection points in the Northeast Tennessee area, which will receive the colorfully wrapped shoeboxes packed with gifts by local residents.
This Christmas, the project hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach more than 11 million children, with 42,000 coming from the Tri-Cities area.
The collection center at First Christian is the first stop for the shoeboxes on a long journey around the world. After being dropped off at First Christian, these boxes will make the long journey overseas, traveling by any means necessary – boat, plane, train, and even elephant and donkeys – until they reach the hands of children in need.
Operation Christmas Child, a project of the international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, will deliver the gifts to children in need overseas.
Since 1993, the project has delivered shoebox gifts to more than 124 million children in over 150 countries and territories.

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