Whitesburg KY

Wanted: Shoeboxes with gifts

With 104 days to go until Christmas Day, Lee Adams, a member of the Whitesburg First Baptist Church, is already getting into the holiday spirit.

Adams collects shoeboxes and fills them with toiletries, small toys and candy to be given to children all around the world who may not otherwise receive gifts. She also encourages others to do the same.

The shoeboxes are collected and distributed through Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse headed by Franklin Graham.

Last year more than 7.6 million shoebox gifts were distributed to children in 92 countries.

Operation Christmas Child does not leave out children located in remote areas. Many different types of transportation are used: helicopters in Panama, camels in Jordan and Afghanistan, small boats in the Solomon Islands and donkeys in Honduras.

Adams serves as area coordinator volunteer for southeast Kentucky and southwest Virginia’s Operation Christmas Child. She hand delivered shoeboxes to children in Jamaica last year.

“From the hands of southeast Kentucky and southwest Virginia’s finest people to the arms of children worldwide, Operation Christmas Child’s shoebox gifts bring joy, comfort and hope into the lives of hurting kids one shoebox at a time,” said Adams.

Even though shoeboxes are not collected until the middle of November, Adams said people can start gathering items to fill boxes.

“All you need to get started is an empty shoebox. Fill it with necessity items, toys, school supplies, candy, and if you want a hand-written note of encouragement. Then pray for the child that will receive your box that his or her heart may be changed for a life for Christ,” said Adams.

The person fixing a box decides whether the package will be for a boy or a girl and of what age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.

Suggested items to place in a shoebox are small stuffed animals, hard candy, balloons, small pads of paper, crayons, and small balls.

The organization does not want the following items included in the packages: used items; toy guns, knives or other war-related items; chocolate or perishable food items; liquids of any kind (shampoo, lotion, bubbles); medicines of any kind (vitamins, cough drops); and breakable items (china dolls, snow globes).

It is asked that $7 be included to cover the cost of shipping the package overseas but the money is not a must. Churches and other organizations give donations to help pay the shipping costs.

Finished gift boxes can be dropped off at the Whitesburg First Baptist Church on Monday, November 12, through Friday, November 16, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 17.

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