Help bring Christmas into the lives of needy children around the world.
There’s still time left to donate items for Operation Christmas Child, the Samaritan’s Purse project that donates Christmas gifts and hygiene items to children in need. Davis County drop-off locations for the project are located at the Good Shepherd Fellowship in Bountiful and Calvary Chapel Wasatch Front in Clearfield.
“We’re looking for items for boys and girls ages 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14,” said Sherry Greenwood, who is coordinating the Good Shepherd collection.
The churches will assemble shoeboxes from donated items, and will also accept completed shoeboxes (the empty boxes can be picked up at the church).
The boxes should be assembled for either a boy or girl in one of the three age categories.
The centerpiece of each box is what Greenwood refers to as the “wow” gift, one significant, age-appropriate present such as a soccer ball, a Barbie or a baby doll. Though there are no official guidelines for the “wow” gift, the significance is important.
“It means anything that grabs their attention when they’re opening the box,” she said.
The rest of the box should be filled with what Greenwood refers to as box fillers, small toys such as play dough, hair accessories, Slinkies, yo-yos or similar items.
“Anything small or extra that fills up the box,” she said.
The boxes can also include school supplies such as pens, pencils, notebooks and crayons, and non-liquid hygiene items such as toothbrushes, bar soap, combs and washcloths.
“This year, though, we’re not accepting toothpaste,” she said.
Though donations are technically being accepted on Nov. 21, Greenwood asks that all items be brought in by Nov. 20 so volunteers have enough time to assemble them.
“Nov. 21 is when I gather up all the boxes and get them to Ogden, which is one of the main hubs,” she said.
Samaritan’s Purse then distributes the boxes to children worldwide, along with information about Christianity.
“They’re taught a little lesson about Jesus, then they’re given their shoeboxes,” said Greenwood.
The children are then given the opportunity to bring their parents and siblings back for a 12-week course that discusses Jesus more in-depth.
“If they graduate, we give them a Bible in their language,” she said.
Those making boxes can also include a personal note to the child as well as a photo of themselves, their family or their group. For details about how to assemble your own shoebox, visit samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebox-suggestions. The page also includes instructions for handmade crafts such as bracelets and finger puppets that can be included in the boxes.
Good Shepherd Fellowship is located at 696 N. 400 East in Bountiful. Calvary Chapel Wasatch Front is located at 564 S. 800 East in Clearfield. Good Shepherd will be open to accept drop-offs on Nov. 17 from 5 – 8 p.m., on Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., on Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Calvary Chapel will be open to accept drop-offs on Nov. 17 and 18 from 2 – 7 p.m., on Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., and on Nov. 20 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
To build and donate a box online, or send a gift card so that someone else can build and donate a box, visit samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/buildonline.