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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – COVID-19 isn’t stopping First Baptist Church of Childress from its annual Operation Christmas Child collection drive.
Music Minister Kerry Wood said it’s an opportunity for Childress Christians to be global missionaries. Samaritan’s Purse collects shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for children around the world, according to the Samaritan’s Purse website.
“You can do this with a simple gift for a child,” Wood said. “It’s an amazing experience.”
The First Baptist Church has been doing this since Operation Christmas Child’s inception in 1993. According to the Samaritan’s Purse website, more than 178 million children in more than 150 countries have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox over the last 27 years.
Wood encourages residents in Childress to participate. He wants people to know First Baptist Church, which is located at 300 Ave. C NW, has free shoeboxes residents can come pick up. While there, residents can look at the different ages and select either a boy or a girl.
“We have brochures,” Wood said. “They can pick who they want to give a gift for.”
First Baptist Church also is the drop-off location for this area, Wood explained. The packing party for all supplies collected is at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15, at Fellowship Hall. On Nov. 23, Wood said they will deliver the boxes from Childress, Estelline and Wellington to Wichita Falls because National Collection Week is Nov. 16 to Nov. 23.
Wood said they usually take 400 to 500 shoeboxes from Childress, 100 to 200 shoeboxes from Wellington and 150 shoeboxes from Estelline.
According to the Samaritan’s Purse website, tens of thousands of volunteers from local churches around the world partner present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to provide God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.