Operation Christmas Child kicks off

WARREN — Several churches in Trumbull County will be among drop-off sites nationwide for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Participants fill shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items and toys, which will be sent to children around the world.

Local collection sites include First Baptist Church, 7 E Kline St., Girard; Grace Fellowship Church, 2150 Niles Cortland Road SE, Warren; and Southington Christian Church, 3285 state Route 534, Southington.

The project’s National Collection Week is Nov. 13 to 20. Operation Christmas Child will deliver collected shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

There are about 5,000 collections sites across the country, organizers said. Lucas Zellers of Operation Christmas Child said the northeast Ohio area team volunteers hope to contribute 22,001 shoeboxes.

Regional Director David Zimmerman said, “We are honored to join the nationwide effort to collect gift-filled shoeboxes for children who may have never experienced the true meaning of Christmas. Through these simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn that God loves them and has not forgotten them.”

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories, organizers said.

For information to participate, call 937-374-0761 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.