ELKHART — Shoe boxes have begun showing up at several churches in Elkhart County and the surrounding area; however, there are no shoes in these boxes.
The boxes have instead been filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items as part of the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child campaign.
Each year, Operation Christmas Child provides the shoe box gifts to children in need around the world. This year, the organization plans to surpass 100 million children helped by these boxes since the campaign began in 1993. And local residents are joining the effort.
National Collection Week for the boxes got underway Nov. 12 and will run until Monday.
Five churches in the area are collection points for boxes made in and around Elkhart County. Drop-off locations include two churches in Goshen, one in Nappanee, one in Milford and another in Granger.
The goal for the five local collection spots is to bring in a combined total of 4,000 shoe boxes for distribution this year.
Shoe box gifts may be dropped off at the following locations:
Beulah Missionary Church, 57595 Old C. R. 17, Goshen
Bethel Missionary Church, 63473 C.R. 7, Goshen
Nappanee Brethren in Christ Church, 1601 North Main St., Nappanee
Wawasee Community Bible Church, 2035 E. 1300 N., Milford
Harris Prairie Church of Christ, 14719 S.R. 23, Granger.
For more information on Operation Christmas Child, or if you are interested in putting together a shoe box, information and instructions can be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ.