St. Peter’s collects for Operation Christmas Child

SHIPPING BOXES: Ciara Brown, Christina Hatfield, Sydney Kueser and Brendon Willard, all students at St. Peter's Lutheran School, took some time out of their school day to help prepare Operation Christmas Child boxes to ship. (Pioneer photo/Miranda Roberts)

SHIPPING BOXES: Ciara Brown, Christina Hatfield, Sydney Kueser and Brendon Willard, all students at St. Peter’s Lutheran School, took some time out of their school day to help prepare Operation Christmas Child boxes to ship. (Pioneer photo/Miranda Roberts)

BIG RAPIDS – Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 100 million shoeboxes filled with items and delivered them to children who otherwise would have gone without during the holiday season.

Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week has begun, and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and School, located at 408 W. Bellevue St. in Big Rapids, is collecting boxes to be shipped to children in need.

“Many of the children who receive these boxes have never received a gift of any kind,” said Sue Truog, drop-off location coordinator at St. Peter’s. “I can always picture the children receiving them. They not only receive a gift, but a Gospel message that comes along with it.

Boxes for Operation Christmas Child are collected internationally and delivered to children in more than 100 countries. In 2012, Operation Christmas Child sent more than 8.6 million shoe boxes to Ghana, Madagascar, Romania and Papua New Guinea, among others.

“People fill boxes with school supplies, small toys, personal care items, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, maybe a wash cloth, small stuffed animals, socks, T-shirts, flip-flops, anything,” Truog said, adding people indicated whether the box is for a boy or girl and whether it is for a child between the ages of 2 to 4, 5 to 9, or 10 to 14.

“It does not have to be in a specific box. A lot of people do the plastic totes because it’s a useful item for children. Sometimes people might want to consider doing this for an older child and giving little sets of tools and stuff, and that actually provides a source of income for an older child.

“Go to the dollar store. That’s where a lot of people do their shopping for this. The money does add up to fill a box, but there are ways to do it very economically and then you can do more than one or two.”

Last year, the St. Peter’s drop-off location collected about 2,000 boxes. Many churches, organizations and individuals collect and fill boxes with items.

Those interested in more information about Operation Christmas Child can visit samaritanspurse.org and click on the “Operation Christmas Child” link to find out how to pack a box. St. Peter’s also has brochures about the program available during drop-off hours.

Donors can drop off Operation Christmas Child boxes at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 21, from 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 24, from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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Posted by Miranda Roberts

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