Local News

Operation Christmas Child Begins Next Week

Operation Christmas ChildWhile most people in the US are preparing for holiday activities, Russell and surrounding area volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are filling shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas.

This year-round project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse is ramping up for National Collection Week, which is November 18 to 25. Area volunteers have set a goal to collect 814 gift-filled shoe boxes this year after collecting 740 in 2012.

Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at the Russell-area collection site. Then, using whatever means necessary - trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants - the shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in more than 100 countries around the world.

Local volunteer and organizer Alice Hammack says pack average-size shoe boxes so all children involved can receive basically the same amount of gifts across the board.

The Russell collection site is Otterbein United Methodist Church located at 136 West Wisconsin Street in Russell.

The hours of operation are:

  • Monday, November 18 through Friday, November 22: 8 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Saturday, November 23: 10 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Sunday, November 24: 2 to 4 PM
  • Monday, November 25: 8 AM to 9:30 AM

This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect over 9.8 million gift-filled shoe boxes nationwide.

For more information, call Alice Hammack at 483-2629 or 483-1795 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.

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