First Baptist packs shoeboxes
Collections Week for Operation Christmas Child will begin Monday through Nov. 21 at Lawton First Baptist Church, 501 SW B. The hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday 2-4 p.m.
Operation Christmas Child is the world's largest Christmas project of its kind using gift-filled shoe boxes to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to children in need around the world.
Since 1993, the Samaritan's Purse project has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. In 2016, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoe box gifts to reach another 12 million children.
Shoe box gifts are collected in the United States, Australia, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom. More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 150,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoe box gifts.
This year the Southwest Oklahoma area already collected 5,914 shoe boxes. First Baptist Church in Lawton hosted its annual Operation Christmas Child Packing Party Nov. 6 packing 1,203 shoe boxes. This year's goal is 6,387 shoe boxes for Southwest Oklahoma. Nan French, the local Collection Center Coordinator, along with Samantha Sessums, the Southwest Oklahoma Area Coordinator, will work with local volunteers to intake, process and load the shoe boxes onto a semi truck where they will be delivered to Dallas. In Dallas the boxes will be inspected and then on to their final journey.