Church hosts Operation Christmas Child

HOWLAND — Volunteers spent a week in mid-November filling shoe boxes with gifts and other items for children overseas as part of Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child will deliver collected shoe box gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

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

A group gathered at Grace Fellowship Church to help with filling boxes.

Debbie Miller of Warren, site coordinator, said Grace Fellowship Church was a new dropoff location.

“People can still drop off donations of items to go into the boxes. If people fill their own shoe boxes this is where they can bring them,” Miller said.

Miller said each box includes games, toys, health and hygiene items, and school supplies.

She said in a three-hour period Nov. 15, the Howland site received more than 400 shoe boxes.

Hours at the Grace site are 2 to 4 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday.

”I feel being here helping I was able to do something that will benefit so many others. We were able to pack so many boxes,” said Jessica Wolfgang of Austintown.

Tammi McKinney of Liberty, who came from Georgia, said she came back to the area and wanted to help with the effort.

Several churches in Trumbull County are among dropoff sites nationwide for the project. Participants fill shoe boxes with school supplies, hygiene items and toys, which will be sent to children around the world.

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