You can fit a lot of goodies inside a shoe box, and volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are hoping to collect 10,000 in the north metro area.
Operation Christmas Child’s National Week started Nov. 18 and runs until Monday, Nov. 25. There are four drop-off sites in the north metro area: Broomfield United Methodist Church, 545 W. 10th Ave.; Front Range Christian Fellowship, 10667 Parkridge Ave. in Longmont; Calvary Bible Church, 3245 Kalmia Ave. in Boulder and North Metro Church, 12505 Colorado Blvd. in Thornton.
“The kinds of things people put in shoeboxes are hygiene items, small toys and school supplies, Cathy Collins, relay center coordinator for Operation Christmas Child at North Metro Church said. “These kids appreciate any gift because they don’t have anything.”
A few years ago Collins visited impoverished neighborhoods in southern Africa countries and said that the children there would be excited over the simplest items — even just a pipe cleaner.
“No matter what they get they think it’s the neatest thing in the world,” she said.
This is North Metro’s second year being a relay center, which means it serves as a collection site for anyone in the north area wanting to donate a shoe box full of gifts.
“I have such a deep love for children in other countries that are impoverished,” Collins said about why she volunteers to head up the relay center.
Last year the church collected 2,500 boxes, and the church hopes it can collect 3,000 this year.
Collins said that some people opt to give a plastic container that is the same size of shoe boxes, which works better because the children could use the container for other purposes.
People can drop off a shoe box or a container the size of a shoe box filled with gifts at North Metro Church 4:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 1-3 p.m. Sunday and 1-4 p.m. Monday.
Suggest gift items include dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, crayons, markers, pens, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, toothbrush, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), washcloth, combs, T-shirts, ball caps, sunglasses and people can write a personalized note if they wish.
People should not include aerosol cans, breakable items, liquids, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures or anything that could melt inside the boxes (such as chocolate).
For more information about how to pack the shoe box and Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.org/newsroom.
Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 100 million shoebox gifts to suffering children in more than 100 countries since 1993. It is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.