By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore’s Grace Fellowship Church will be one of 4,500 sites around the country where Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoeboxes will be collected, starting next Monday, November 13.
OCC, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, will conduct National Collection Week from Monday, November 13, until Monday, November 20.
Volunteers will collect the shoeboxes — which the donor should fill with school supplies, personal care items and fun toys — at the local church, located at 1412 East Nashville Avenue (U.S. 31), at the following times on the following dates:
*Monday, Nov. 13, through Wednesday, Nov. 15: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
*Wednesday, Nov. 15 (evening): 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
*Thursday, Nov. 16, and Friday, Nov. 17: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
*Saturday, Nov. 18: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
*Sunday, Nov. 19: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
*Monday, Nov. 20: 8 a.m.- 11 a.m.
According to the Samaritan Purse website, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered shoebox gifts to more than 209 million children in more than 170 countries and territories since it was organized in 1993. Officials hope to collect enough shoeboxes this year to brighten the holiday for 11 million more.
The project’s website includes that Operation Christmas Child is a partnership between Samaritans Purse and local churches across the globe to deliver these “tangible expressions of God’s love to children in need.”
Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham pointed out that the gift-filled shoeboxes are a major means of spreading the Gospel.
“A simple shoebox gift opens the door to share about the true hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ,” Franklin said in a press release.
Those outside Atmore who wish to participate can find the nearest drop-off location and hours of operation at samaritanspurse.org.