Operation Christmas Child Christmas Child Shoebox season has arrived. Anyone can help a child in need by packing a simple shoe box with school supplies, hygiene items and wonderful toys.  

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, has collected and delivered more than 188 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

This year there are four drop-off locations in our area where individuals, families and community groups can bring their packed shoeboxes during National Collection Week: Nov. 15 through Nov. 22. 

Rotary Interact students assist in the Operation Christmas Child packing effort at John Pennekamp State Park on Nov. 7. They were joined by community members, pastors Charles Rosenbalm, Ralph Pratt and Kerry Foote and friends of First Baptist Church Key Largo. CONTRIBUTED

In Florida City drop your shoeboxes off to Mt. Calvary Community Church, 755 NW 2nd Street (305-247-5396). In the Keys your locations are First Baptist Church of Key Largo, 99001 Overseas Highway (305-451-2265);  Marathon Church of God, 800 74th Street Ocean (305-743-6307); and First Baptist Church of Big Pine Key, 300 Key Deer Blvd. (443-956-3999). Check the National Drop Off Location finder for hours of operation at samaritanspurse.org/occ or call the drop off locations directly.

South Dade/Florida Keys Community/Church Coordinator, Cindy Smith, is also available to help people and teams organize, prepare and pack. Give Smith a call at 305-923-9984 or visit the Operation Christmas Child website to learn more about the program or how to pack a shoebox online.

These shoebox gifts will be a tangible expression of God’s love to children around the world affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. It may be a busy time of year, but you DO have time to change a child’s life. Find out how you can participate and start packing.

Shoe boxes are dropped off during Operation Christmas Child. CONTRIBUTED

If you would like to have the Weekly delivered to your mailbox or inbox along with our daily news blast, please subscribe here.