Operation Christmas Child begins next week
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.”
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.