The group Samaritan’s Purse is calling on churches and families to pack more shoebox gifts than ever before for its Operation Christmas Child, making sure millions of children experience the joys of the holidays.

Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

In Operation Christmas Child, empty shoeboxes are filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with churches across the globe to deliver the items to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For many of these children, organizers say, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

People interested in OCC can simply pack shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items and toys and take them to one of more than 4,000 drop-off locations during National Collection Week Nov. 16 to 23.

Because of the pandemic, donors will be greeted at curbside drop-offs by volunteers wearing personal protective equipment.

Samaritan’s Purse listed the following drop-off sites in the north country area:

Watertown: Life Church of the Nazerene, 535 Thompson Blvd.

Adams Center: Grace Community Church, 17784 Michaels Road.

Castorland: Naumburg Mennonite Church, 5463 State Route 410.

Richland: Vorea Community Church, 12 Waggoner Road Richland.

Boonville: United Methodist Church, 105 Ann St.

Winthrop: Victory Baptist Church, 601 State Route 11C.

Saranac Lake: High Peaks Church, 97 Will Rogers Drive

Malone: Shiloh Baptist Church, 217 Webster St.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

Samaritan’s Purse also offers an option to virtually pack a shoebox gift. Through this online tool, churches and groups can also set up a goal page to rally together to reach a larger goal.

For more information on that and other aspects of the program, including tips on how to pack a shoe box, go to the organization’s website at

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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