A project that brings joy to millions of children around the world will have a collection and relay site in Elizabethtown. Fellowship Bible Church on Alexander Street will be the drop-off site for Operation Christmas Child in Bladen County.
“We will be a relay/collection center. That means we will get the big trucks and we will send the boxes straight to Charlotte,” said Coordinator Pat Warwick.
National Collection Week is Monday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 22. Warwick said drop off times are Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.; and on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
Warwick said the trucks loaded with boxes will leave for Charlotte on Monday, Nov. 23.
Warwick said Fellowship bible Church served about 2005 when the members packed shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. She said the church has served as a relay point for about eight years and a relay and collection site for two years.
She said last year, the site received 10,000 shoe boxes filled with toys from folks in Bladen and Columbus counties. The project, part of Samaritan’s Purse, is a favorite of many folks in Bladen County.
“Through the simple act of filling a shoebox, someone in Elizabethtown can make a tangible difference in the life of a child halfway around the world. Anyone can participate and bring joy to a child facing difficult circumstances,” said Wilmington Area Volunteer Paulette Fittshur, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for 16 years.
“Everybody has increased their goals and they are meeting them,” said Warwick of this year’s collection.
In Bladen County, Warwick said there are about 30 churches and many groups and organizations as well as individuals that participate in Operation Christmas Child. She said that in Columbus there are more churches and groups that take part in the effort.
Warwick said this year the organization has opened a relay center in Columbus County.
“It’s just growing and growing,” said Warwick of the project.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child and how you can pack a box go to samaritanspurse.org/occ .
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