Operation Christmas Child
Celebrating Its 20th Anniversary, Operation Christmas Child Collects Shoebox Gifts for Children Overseas during National Collection Week—Nov. 18–25.
This holiday season, Asheville area residents are joining millions of people across the U.S. and around the world to fill empty shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for 9.8 million impoverished children.
During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 18–25, fifteen collection sites in the Asheville area will receive the packed boxes. The shoebox gifts are then processed, prepared and delivered to suffering children in more than 100 countries using whatever means necessary—trains, airplanes, boats, elephants, bikes and even dog sleds.
“It’s amazing to think that small items we often take for granted in the U.S.—soap, a toothbrush and pencils—can bring excitement and hope to a child living in extreme poverty overseas,” said Denise Gravely, a Brevard resident who has volunteered with Operation Christmas Child since 1995. “This simple shoebox gift is an opportunity to change a child’s life.”
This year, Asheville area residents hope to contribute 36,000 gifts to the global collection goal of 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 100 million shoebox gifts and delivered them to needy children.
Anyone can participate in Operation Christmas Child. The time to pack a shoebox gift is now! For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, or to find the nearest drop-off site, call 828-738-0739 or visit samaritanspurse.org.
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 simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many of these children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received.
A year-round, online giving tool also conveniently allows anyone to build a box. By visiting the project’s website at samaritanspurse.org, participants can select a child’s age and gender, shop through an online selection of gifts, virtually “pack” an empty shoebox, and finish it off by writing a note of encouragement. Operation Christmas Child volunteers will pack the shoebox gifts and ship them on behalf of the donors.
Using special tracking technology, participants can also “follow” their shoebox and discover the country in which their gift will be delivered to a child in need. To register a shoebox gift, use the donation form online.
Collection Centers Open Nov. 18–25:
Asheville Collection Center
Beverly Hills Baptist Church, 777 Tunnel Road, Asheville
Daily Hours Mon-Fri 9 am–5 pm/Sat 10 am–1 pm/Sun 12:30 pm–5 pm/Nov 25 9 am-9 pm
The Cove Relay Center
1 Porters Cove Road, Asheville
Daily Hours Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 1pm-5pm, Mon, Nov. 25 9am-9pm
Hendersonville Collection Center
First Presbyterian Church, 699 N. Grove Street, Hendersonville
Daily Hours Mon-Fri 9am-6pm/Sat 9am-5pm/Sun 12:30pm-5pm/Mon, Nov. 25 9am-5pm
To find the nearest drop-off site, call 828-738-0739 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.