While most people in the U.S. are preparing for holiday activities, Chattanooga volunteers with Operation Christmas Child—the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind—are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas. This year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week, Nov. 12–19.
This year, shoe box drop-off locations in the Chattanooga area have transitioned from Life Care Centers to local churches. Life Care has been a valued partner since 1995. To date, the centers have collected more than 2.5 million shoe box gifts. Life Care Centers of America remains a promotion partner for Operation Christmas Child. The Life Care headquarters will continue to serve as the collection center for the Chattanooga and Cleveland areas.
Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at one of six new collection points in the Chattanooga area for Operation Christmas Child this season. Then, using whatever means necessary—trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants—the shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world.
Chattanooga area collection sites are as follows:
Woodland Park Baptist Church
6735 Standifer Gap Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Mon, Nov. 12 – Sun, Nov. 18: 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Mon, Nov 19: Not Collecting
First Christian Church
650 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Mon, Nov. 12: 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tues, Nov. 13: 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Wed, Nov. 14: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Thu, Nov. 15: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 16: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sat, Nov. 17: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sun, Nov. 18: 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Mon, Nov. 19: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Red Bank Baptist Church
4000 Dayton Boulevard
Chattanooga, TN 37415
Mon, Nov 12 – Fri, Nov. 16: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Sat, Nov 17: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Sun, Nov 18: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Mon, Nov 19: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Hixson United Methodist Church
5301 Old Hixson Pike
Hixson, TN 37343
Mon, Nov 12 – Fri, Nov. 16: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat, Nov 17 – Sun, Nov 18: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Mon, Nov 19: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Additional Chattanooga-area collection sites can be found using the online Zip Code locator at www.samaritanspurse.org or by calling 800 353-5949.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone—collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. During that time, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 94 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to suffering children in more than 130 countries. This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another nine million gift-filled shoe boxes. Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many children, the shoe box gift will be the first gift they have ever received.
Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to “follow” their box to the destination country where it will be given to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out the destination country, use the “Follow Your Box” donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 615 778-0046 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoe boxes is Nov. 12-19; however, shoe box gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.