While most people in the U.S. are preparing for holiday activities, Bakersfield volunteers with Operation Christmas Child—the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind—are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas. This year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect over 14,000 gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week (Nov. 12 – 19).
Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at one of the Bakersfield-area collection sites (addresses and hours below). Then, using whatever means necessary—trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants—the shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world.
BAKERSFIELD COLLECTION SITES:
Olive Drive Church
5500 Olive Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308
Mon-Fri - Nov 12-16: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat - Nov 17: 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Sun - Nov 18: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Mon - Nov 19: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fellowship Baptist Church
3001 Stine Road
Bakersfield, CA 93309
Mon-Fri - Nov 12-16: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sat - Nov 17: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sun - Nov 18: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Mon - Nov 19: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
NEARBY COLLECTION SITES:
Country Oaks Baptist Church
20915 Schout Road
Tehachapi, CA 93561
Mon-Sat - Nov 12-17: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sun - Nov 18: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Mon: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Additional local collection sites can be found using the online Zip Code locator at www.samaritanspurse.org.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone—collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. During that time, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 94 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to suffering children in more than 130 countries. This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9 million gift-filled shoe boxes. Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many children, the shoe box gift will be the first gift they have ever received.
Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to “follow” their box to the destination country where it will be given to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out the destination country, use the “Follow Your Box” donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (714) 432-7030 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoe boxes is Nov. 12-19; however, shoe box gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.