CLARKESVILLE — With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Clarkesville families, businesses, schools and churches are putting their gratitude in action and celebrating their blessings by giving back. Through Operation Christmas Child, locals are joining tens of thousands of people across the U.S. to fill empty shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and necessity items for impoverished children around the world.
Next week, Clarkesville families, businesses, schools and churches are putting their thankful hearts to good use and giving back. They’re joining millions of people across the U.S. to fill shoe boxes with gifts for 9.1 million suffering children around the world.
Four collection sites in the Central Panhandle-area (see busiest below), will be bustling with activity as 12,000 colorfully wrapped shoe box gifts are dropped off by residents. Hundreds of local volunteers will be working hard, packing and transporting the boxes to the next stop on their journey to a child in need.
Local drop-offs and times:
Poplar Head Baptist Church
19118 NW State Road 73, Clarksville, Fla., 32430
Mon - Nov 12-Sat - Nov 17: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Sun - Nov 18: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Mon - Nov 19: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
First Baptist Church
1005 Ohio Avenue, Lynn Haven, Fla., 32444
Mon - Nov 12-Fri - Nov 16: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sat - Nov 17: 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Sun - Nov 18: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Mon - Nov 19: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Shiloh Baptist Church
1976 Shiloh Lane, Chipley, Fla., 32428
Mon - Nov 12: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Tues - Nov 13: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Wed - Nov 14: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thur - Nov 15: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Fri - Nov 16: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sat - Nov 17: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sun - Nov 18: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Mon – Nov 19: 7 a.m. - 9 a.m.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone—collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since the project began in 1993. Clarkesville residents hope to contribute 12,000 shoe box gifts to this year’s global collection goal of 9 million gift-filled shoe boxes in order to help surpass the 100-millionth shoe box milestone.
November 12-19, packed gifts will be dropped off at four collection sites in the Clarkesville area. Once dropped off, the shoe boxes are processed, prepared and transported to suffering children in more than 100 countries using whatever means necessary—trains, airplanes, boats, elephants, bikes and even dog sleds—to get the shoe boxes into the hands of needy kids.
Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many of these children, the shoe box gift will be the first gift they’ve ever received.
By using special tracking technology, participants can “follow” their shoe box and discover the country in which their gift will be hand-delivered to a child in need. To register your shoe box gift, use the “Follow Your Box” form online.
Anyone can participate in Operation Christmas Child. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, or to find the nearest drop-off site, call 407-852-3727 or visit www.SamaritansPurse.org/OCC.