Operation Christmas Child to collect at four Scottsdale-area locations

Four sites in the Scottsdale area will be among 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoebox gifts for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19.

Those four sites include Highlands Church, 9050 E. Pinnacle Peak Road; Resurrection Lutheran Church. 4930 E. Greenway Road in Phoenix; Scottsdale Bible Church, 7601 E. Shea Blvd.; and Trinity Lutheran Church, 13770 N. Fountain Hills Blvd.

Scottsdale families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items, according to a press release.

The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

This year, Scottsdale area residents hope to collect more than 12,700 gifts to contribute to the 2018 global goal of reaching 11 million children.

“We are honored to be linking arms with our community to help children around the world experience the true meaning of Christmas,” Scottsdale volunteer Jeff Simon, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for seven years, said in a prepared statement. “These simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”

At the Highlands Church, collection will take place 9-11 a.m. on Nov. 12, 14, 16 and 17 as well as 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 14. There will also be collection 3-5 p.m. Nov. 13 and 15 as well as noon to 4 p.m. on Nov. 18 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 19.

At the Resurrection Lutheran Church, collection is 2-4 p.m. on Nov. 12 and 19; 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 13, 16 and 17; 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 14; and 3-5 p.m. on Nov. 15 and 18.

At Scottsdale Bible Church, collection is available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 12; 2-5 p.m. on Nov. 13 and 15; 3-6 p.m. on Nov. 14 and 16; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 17; 1-4 p.m.; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 19.

At the Trinity Lutheran Church, collection is available from 9-11 a.m. on Nov. 12-17 and 19; and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 18.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 303-745-9179, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination, according to a release.

Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization, which Franklin Graham heads.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate “God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ,” a release states.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

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