Operation Christmas Child mobilizes at Chick-fil-A

IMAGE COURTESY SAMARITAN'S PURSEThis Moldovan girl is all smiles after receiving an Operation Christmas Child shoe box.


That's the goal for Operation Christmas Child in the four counties — Clinton, Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence.

“We packed 9,475 shoe boxes last year,” said Rita Alford, area team Leader Operation Christmas Child, Northern Adirondack.

“We're hoping for 10,000 this year.”


Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization, which responds to natural disasters in the United States and other countries.

Operation Christmas Child offers holiday cheer for children in distress around the world.

“On November 2, people are invited to come and pick up an empty shoe box at Chick-fil-A from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Alford said.

“Then, if they return a filled shoe box on Nov. 9, the following Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., they will get a free original sandwich to be used during that time frame.”

Shoe boxes may be filled with a “wow,” item such as a doll, soccer ball with manual pump, or small musical instrument like a harmonica or woodwind recorder.

Appropriate contents also include personal care items such as comb, hairbrush, toothbrush; clothing and accessories such as shirts, pants, loose fitting sundress; crafts and activities such as pencils, pencil case and glue stick; and toys such as a Slinky or Etch-a-Sketch.

A shoe box can be filled with age appropriate materials for a girl or boy ages 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.

Packers should also include a personal note.

There is a $9 donation for shipping, and gift givers can go online and track their box to see what country it goes to.



Boxes may be wrapped, but they have to be able to be opened at the processing center to insure prohibited items are not inside — anything spill-able, breakable, anything warlike, no candy, liquids, toothpaste or anything used.

Suggested school supplies include pencils, pencil case, pencil sharpener, scissors, ruler, glue, notebook, glue stick and eraser.

Suggested personal care items include bar soap, washcloth, comb, hairbrush, Band-Aids, toothbrush, stick deodorant, nail clipper and nail file.

Foam ball, baseball, tennis ball, Hacky-Sack, Yo-yo, plastic animals or figures, stuffed animals, dolls, trucks and cars are popular toy items.

Clothes and accessories, crafts and miscellaneous items such as sewing kits, bowl, eating utensils, water bottle also make great gifts.

For packing instructions and suggestions go to: www.samaritanspurse.org



“Our collection is Nov. 18 to the 25,” Alford said.

“There are quite a few drop-offs. In Plattsburgh, it is at the First Assembly of God Church (164 Prospect St.)”

Drop-off times are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 18-22;  10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 23; 1 -5 p.m., Nov. 24; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 25.

Other North Country locations are Christ & St. John's Episcopal Church, 18 Butternut St., Champlain; Westport Bible Church, 24 Youngs Rd., Westport; Shiloh Baptist Church, 217 Webster St., Malone; High Peaks Church 97 Will Rogers Dr., Saranac Lake.

There are packing parties all over the area,” Alford said.

“We're having one on Nov. 12 at 6 o'clock at the First Assembly of God in Plattsburgh. It's very fun.”


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