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Operation Christmas Child begins next week

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 | Posted by

McCutchan and another volunteer during the 2011 collection (Courtesy of Donna Jones)

By MELODY KARPINSKI / Santa Rosa Correspondent

Operation Christmas Child will begin its National Collection Week on Nov. 12, and the Santa Rosa collection center will be available to receive donations.

The endeavor began in 1993 as a branch of charity Samaritan’s Purse, and ships shoe boxes full of gifts to children across the globe. The Santa Rosa collection center is the primary receiving site for the region, and collected over 10,568 shoe boxes last year.

“One box equals one child,” said Emily McCutchan, the 2012 collection site coordinator. “It’s a wonderful community project with lots of heart.”

Boxes from Santa Rosa were sent to children in Nepal, the Philippines, Peru, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and China last year. Donors can track where their shoe boxes go online.

“After traveling in third world countries, I know how blessed we are living in the USA,” said McCutchan. “Even if I can make the difference in one child’s life by giving them a box full of presents, then it is completely worthwhile.”

Windsor Christian Academy students assist during the 2011 collection. (Courtesy of Emily McCutchan)

The Santa Rosa collection center will be staffed by 130 volunteers, including members of multiple Girl Scout troops and Windsor Christian Academy’s eighth grade class. The boxes are then transported to the Western Regional Collection center in Los Angeles, and from there are shipped to their respective destinations.

Recommended items for each shoe box include school supplies, toys, hygiene items, clothes and a personal note from the donor. Restricted items include used items, food, vitamins, knives, breakable items, liquids and lotions and any war-related items (toy guns, military figures etc.).

The collection center is located at Spring Hills Church on 3600 Fulton Road. Hours are as follows:

Monday, Nov. 12: 9 a.m. -6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 14: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 15: 11 a.m. -3 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 16:  11 a.m. -6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17: 9 a.m. -5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 18: noon – 5 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 19:  9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information about the collection center, contact Emily McCutchan at 579-5683 x 305 or visit samaritanspurse.org.

For those who would like to participate in a community-wide event, Calvary Chapel – The Rock will also host a shoe box packing party on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. The church is located at 915 Piner Road.

  • rkwartz

    Im just thrilled that all the local children have been taken care of this year and there is a surplus that can be shared..

    • McCutch

      There are plenty of needs locally, as well. Donating to Operation Christmas Child is NOT instead of helping those locally; it is in ADDITION to helping locally.

  • Help Our Own

    We send our jobs there and now gifts…? China BTW is not a third world country. They are the richest country to date except for a few middle eastern ones. Other wise, great efforts! I am not sure those countries celebrate Christmas either?

    • McCutch

      This has nothing to do with where we send our jobs. It has to do with sending gifts to children who have NEVER received a gift and have very little. Samaritan’s Purse sends out these gifts to over 130 countries; they are NOT all 3rd world countries but many are. As you know, there are kids living in affluent countries that live in poverty. It’s right here. I can see why you made this assumption. The writer nor I was saying China was a 3rd world country. I said I’ve been to 3rd world countries and the writer stated in the previous paragraph where the shoeboxes went in 2011. My statement about 3rd world countires was not in reference to where the shoeboxes went last year!!

  • Reg

    hmmm…white people sending red and green boxes to brown people who don’t celebrate jesus’ birth.

    there are sonoma county kids who eat a food stamp diet and have holes in their shows…i was once one of them.

    • McCutch

      Giving globally does not replace doing things locally.As you know personally, there are so many needs locally. Definately do not need to go far to see the needs. And tons of opportunities. This week we are donating food for the Santa Rosa Rescue Mission. if you don’t want to send a red & green box, pack one to donate to Foster Kids, donate a coat for a shelter, give food to a local food pantry, donate shoes to kids, do an angel tree gift, … the list of opportunities is endless. Honestly, the point is do SOMETHING to help others this season.

  • kimba

    Rkwartz….yeah I’m with you on this one.

  • TC

    This is a good cause and I’m glad they are doing this, but it sounds like they are trying to say China is a third world country. It is not. Shanghai and Beijing are world class cities with some real quality living, although very crowded and polluted. I think they might be talking about children who live in the countryside.

    • McCutch

      I can see how readers are making this assumption based on how the article was written. My statement about 3rd world countries was not referring to China. It was referring to the majority of the 130 countries that these shoeboxes are sent to. Even in industrial countries, there still remains a lot of poverty and need. Look at our own country!!! I don’t even need to leave Sonoma Copunty to see tons of opportunities to give.

  • http://reneeortizstudios.com Renee Ortiz

    Also, there is a big packing party TONIGHT, 7-9:00 at Vineyard of Faith, 167 Arata Lane, Windsor. Bring items to pack, shoeboxes and a snack to share and join the pre-Christmas fun

  • Mom of 4

    We are filling our box this weekend!! Last year we did a boy, this year we’re doing a girl!! My children and I love to give, even though as a single parent, times are tight… it doesn’t take much to fill a shoe box!!

  • Sue

    I think some people really have an inaccurate concept of this program. The types of things that go into these shoeboxes are things that even the poorest of our children here in the US take for granted. Things like toothbrushes, and toothpaste, soap and a washcloth, and pencils, pens and other school supplies. They are going to children who see a toothbrush and comment ‘that is the smallest hair brush I have ever seen’. They go to children who are denied a basic education if they don’t have the funds to bring their own school supplies. We can’t help them all, but if we can help a few the program is well worth the effort.

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