Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoeboxes.
Since 1993, millions of shoeboxes have been packed, shipped and delivered to children who live in impoverished conditions caused by war, famine, disease and other natural disasters.
The shoebox gifts remind the children that, in spite of their difficult circumstances, someone does care about them and they have not been forgotten.
People of all ages, clubs, civic groups, schools, churches, women's groups, etc. can be involved by filling a shoebox with school supplies, hygiene items and other items such as hard candy, T-shirts, socks, ball caps, hair clips, flashlights with extra batteries and toys.
Last year, local churches, organizations and families brought it a total of 4,640 shoeboxes to Valley View Community Church, Sugarcreek and 1,450 shoeboxes to Gray Ridge Mennonite Church, Millersburg.
During National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19, these churches, as well as United Dayspring Church in Berlin, will be accepting donations. Anyone can drop off donations. Collection times are:
-- Valley View Community Church, 2772 Simons Drive NW, Sugarcreek (330-852-2273); Nov. 12-17 -- Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 a.m.-noon; Tuesday and Thursday, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-noon.
-- Gray Ridge Church, 7489 Township Road 103, Millersburg, (800-353-5949); Nov. 12-19 -- Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 5-8 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon; Saturday, noon-3 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Nov. 19, 9-10 a.m.
-- United Dayspring Church, 5641 Township Road 362, Berlin; Nov. 12-19 -- Mondays, Nov. 12 and 19, 9-11 a.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 7-9 p.m.; Wednesday, 2-4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon; Sunday, noon-2 p.m.
Additional local collection sites can be found using the online ZIP Code locator at www.samaritanspurse.org.