With Christmas just around the corner, a local church is looking to contribute to a worldwide effort to put gifts in the hands of children.
This past week, Calvary Chapel Church organized a packing night in which 50 to 60 volunteers packed 96 boxes full of items like school supplies, toys, clothes and hygiene items. It was the most well attended packing party in recent memory, said Karen Bierma, who is heading up the donation collections.
The church’s goal, Bierma said, is to collect more than 1,000 packed boxes in the Montrose area, which would match last year’s efforts.
Operation Christmas Child is an international program put on by Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. The idea is people pack boxes with gifts for children of a specific gender and age, then the box is shipped to one of more than 100 countries where children are impoverished and may not receive gifts.
Most of the boxes from Colorado go to Mexico and Central America, due to the proximity.
“The hope is these kids are going to know about God’s love for them through these boxes,” Bierma said. “They are going to give them the hope of Jesus and give the message of the Gospel.”
Last year, more than 8.8 million boxes got packed and shipped from the United States alone.
To participate, those who wish to donate only need to buy a small plastic box or find an old shoe box. Then they can choose to buy gifts for a boy or a girl, ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Then, donors would take the box to the nearest drop-off location, like Calvary Chapel, and donate $9 for shipping.
Operation Christmas Child
For more information, visit samaritanspurse.org. Find out how to pack a shoebox, as well as where to find a drop-off location.
Calvary Chapel is located at 2201 S. Townsend Ave., Suite D, in Montrose.
The church will be accepting drop-offs Nov. 18-25. Hours of operation will be Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. - noon.; and Sunday from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Monday, Nov. 25 will have special hours, and the church will only allow collections from 9-11 a.m.