With holiday supplies already covering the store shelves, Aiken area individuals, families, churches and groups are working to make Christmas a reality for needy kids around the world by filling shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, is ramping up as Aiken area residents prepare to collect 12,000 gift-filled shoeboxes during National Collection Week (November 18th–25th).
There are 7 locations in Aiken and the surrounding areas where anyone can drop off a gift-filled shoebox to send to a child overseas. Then using whatever means necessary—trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants—the shoebox gifts will be delivered to children worldwide. For many children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received.
AIKEN COUNTY COLLECTION SITES:
Bel-Ridge Baptist Church
108 Monterey Ave
North Augusta, SC 29841
Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Sunday: 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Edgefield Baptist Association
985 US HWY 25 North
Edgefield, SC 29824
Monday-Tuesday: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Wednesday-Friday: 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Sunday: 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Monday: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
First Baptist Church Aiken
120 Chesterfield St. NE
Aiken, SC 29801
Monday-Friday: 8:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Sunday: 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Monday: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
First Baptist Church Barnwell
161 Allen Street
Barnwell, SC 29812
Monday: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Tuesday: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Wednesday: 5:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., Thursday: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Friday: 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Sunday: 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., Monday: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church
164 Mount Pleasant Road
Ridge Spring, SC 29129
Monday-Friday: 5:30 p.m.– 8:00 p.m., Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Sunday: 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Trinity United Methodist Church
11761 Heritage Hwy
Bamberg, SC 29003
Monday: 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Tuesday 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Wednesday: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Thursday: 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Friday: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Sunday: 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday: 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Winfield Heights Baptist Church
315 Chester Street
Williston, SC 28953
Monday: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Tuesday: 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Wednesday: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Thursday: 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Sunday: 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Monday: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Though the shoebox gifts will often travel thousands of miles, Operation Christmas Child offers a way for participants to follow their box, by using the donation form found at samaritanspurse.org. Donors will receive an email telling the country where their shoeboxes are delivered.
Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 100 million shoebox gifts to suffering children in more than 100 countries since 1993. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2013. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 803-649-5802 or visit samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is November 18th-25th; however, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan's Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. Participants can also build a box through an online tool offering a personalized and convenient way to send a gift to a child in one of the hardest-to-reach countries.
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