West Michigan drop-off sites for Operation Christmas Child open

This month, 13 sites in the West Michigan 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.

West Michigan families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. 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, West Michigan area residents hope to collect more than 35,000 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,” said West Michigan volunteer Barb Shattuck, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for five years. “These simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”

Local dropoff sites and dates include:

Forest?Park Covenant Church, 3815 Henry Street, Norton Shores:
Nov. 12: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.; Nov. 13: 4:30-6:30 p.m.; Nov. 14: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.;  Nov. 15: 4:30-6:30 p.m.; Nov. 16: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.; Nov. 17: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Nov. 18: 2:00-5:00 p.m.; Nov. 19: 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Ravenna Baptist Church, 3186 Blackmer Road, Ravenna:
Nov. 12:  10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; Nov. 13: 6:00-8:30 p.m.; Nov. 14: 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; Nov. 15: 6:00-9:00 p.m.; Nov. 16: 6:00-9:00 p.m.; Nov. 17: 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; Nov. 18: 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Nov. 19: 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Spring Lake, 118 E Exchange Street, Spring Lake:
Nov. 12: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; Nov. 12: 4:00-7:00 p.m.; Nov. 13: 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Nov. 14: 12:00-2:00 p.m.; Nov. 15: 8:00-10:00 a.m. and  6:00-8:00 p.m.; Nov. 16: 8:00-10:00 a.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Nov. 17: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; Nov. 18: 2:00-4:00 p.m.; Nov. 19: 9:30 -11:30 a.m.

For more on how to participate, call 616-550-7346, 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. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s 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.