Local church participating in Operation Christmas Child

MANISTEE — The Manistee First Baptist Church is once again encouraging local people to pack boxes and drop them off at the church for Operation Christmas Child.

The church will be collecting the boxes Nov. 18 through Nov. 19. The international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse has been coordinating Operation Christmas Child since 1993, and in that time more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have received simple shoe box gifts from the program.

Those wishing to prepare a shoe box gift should start with a standard size empty shoe box or small plastic container. Wrapping is not required, but if the box is wrapped the lid should be wrapped separately so contents can be inspected.

The donor should determine whether the gift will be for a boy or a girl, and also select an age category — 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. The box should be filled with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. It’s a good idea to include at least one item a child can immediately embrace, such as a stuffed toy, doll, ball or toy truck.

Donors are asked to contribute $7 or more per shoe box to help cover shipping and other project costs. A check to Samaritan’s Purse can be placed in an envelope on top of the gift items inside the box, or the contribution can be made online at www.samaritanspurse.org. Box labels can also be printed from this website.

Givers should then place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop it off at the collection center during collection week.

Packed boxes can be dropped at the First Baptist Church, 1201 Lakeshore Road in Manistee.

Drop off times are:

10 a.m. to noon Nov. 18;

6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 19;

4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 20;

4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 21;

6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 22;

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23; and

noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 24.

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Gift suggestions for Operation Christmas Child boxes

SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

TOYS: Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky, etc.

HYGIENE ITEMS: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

OTHER: T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries).

A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)

DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out- of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Source: www.samaritanspurse.org

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