Operation Christmas Child gathered over 19,000 shoebox gifts for children in need

SALEM — Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week ended Nov. 20, during which the Salem community and surrounding areas generously contributed to the collection of more than 19,100 shoebox gifts for children in need.

The contributions are already on their way to children in need worldwide. For many of these children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they ever receive.

Volunteers from the Northeast Ohio area team are announcing that there is still time to pack a shoebox gift online for children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. 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. They can also donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.

Another way to share the gift of giving is by purchasing a $25 gift card for a family member or friend so they can join in the excitement of Operation Christmas Child by packing a shoebox online. These shoeboxes, filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys, are delivered to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries around the world. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions contact 937-374-0761 or samaritanspurse.org/occ.