MOREHEAD CITY — County volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are gearing up to open their regional shipping center and two relay centers to collect gift-filled shoeboxes to send to needy children around the world.
National Collection Week is Monday, Nov. 16, through Monday, Nov. 23.
Glad Tidings Church in Morehead City will serve as a regional collection center for a five-county area consisting of Carteret, Craven, Onslow, Jones and Pamlico counties. Additional regional collection centers will also be at Tabernacle Baptist Church in New Bern and New River Baptist Association in Jacksonville.
In addition, two county relay centers for those not wanting to travel to Morehead City will be set up at New Hope Baptist Church in Beaufort and Cape Carteret Baptist Church.
The international Christian relief effort, organized by Samaritan’s Purse in Boone, involves packing toys, hygiene products, school supplies or clothing in shoeboxes. The boxes are distributed to needy children in about 150 nations.
Gwen Davis of Beaufort, logistics coordinator and central drop-off team leader at Glad Tidings, said due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s drop-off will look a little different.
“All drop-off locations will be curbside this year. Volunteers wearing a mask will greet donors and offer to unload the shoeboxes so donors can remain in their cars,” Ms. Davis said. “We will have a touchless way of leaving donor contact information and the number of shoeboxes that are dropped off.”
She added that the coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact on children across the world.
“Now more than ever, children need hope, and a gift-filled shoebox can let them know they’re not forgotten,” Ms. Davis said. “Even in a pandemic year, you can touch lives by packing shoebox gifts.”
Those who need labels or shoeboxes can pick them up at the church or by going to samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Those wanting to pack boxes and drop them off during National Collection Week can do so at one of the following times and locations:
· Glad Tidings Church, 4621 Country Club Road, Morehead City: Monday, Nov. 16, 4 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 18, 4 to 6 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 21, 10 a.m. to noon; Sunday, Nov. 22, 1 to 3 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
· New Hope Baptist Church, 2370 Highway 70, Beaufort: noon to 2 p.m., Monday, Nov. 16, through Saturday, Nov. 21; Sunday, Nov. 22, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, noon to 2 p.m.
· Cape Carteret Baptist Church, 101 Anita Forte Drive, Cape Carteret: Monday, Nov. 16, 4 to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to noon; Wednesday, Nov. 18, 4 to 7 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to noon; Friday, Nov. 20, 4 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to noon; Sunday, Nov. 22, 3 to 5 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 23, 9 to 11 a.m.
With a computer or mobile device, anyone can pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift on the Samaritan’s Purse website. Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement and pack them in a shoebox.
A donation of $9 is critical for the project to help cover collecting, shipping and processing, as well as ministry partner training and other materials and project costs.
The best way to give is online via e-check or debit or credit card. You can give online through Follow Your Box to receive a tracking label to affix to your shoeboxes and discover the destination of your shoebox gifts. You can also access it from samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/follow-your-box/.
For more information about how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call Ms. Davis at 252-725-0435.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.