A Shelbyville church will serve as a drop-off location for a nationwide effort to bring gifts to hurting kids around the world.
New Beginnings Baptist Church, 2027 Madison St., will be participating in Operation Christmas Child, which is described as the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, from Nov. 14-21.
The endeavour is a year-round project of Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization which has provided aid to hurting people around the world for over 40 years.
Local volunteers are hoping to collect some 300 gifts-filled shoe boxes for the needy this year. The boxes will be packed with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and necessities.
Collection times at the church will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with additional collections taking place on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 20 from noon to 2 p.m.
Samaritan's Purse uses whatever means necessary to reach the children using sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats, camels and dog sleds. Tracking technology also allows donors to "follow" their box to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need.
Operation Christmas Child has hand-delivered 86 million gifts to kids worldwide since 1993, the organization says.
While the national collection is slated for this month, shoe box gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan's Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.