HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - This week is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child.
“We have right under 1,600 that have been collected at Temple Baptist Church," said associate pastor Drew McDonald.
The Samaritan’s Purse-led shoebox campaign sends thousands of shoeboxes filled with toys, snacks and necessary items to children worldwide.
“Being able to be a part of that, to bring joy into their life and also just kind of demonstrate the good news of Jesus Christ during this holiday season is what it’s all about," McDonald said.
The pandemic has led to some changes in shoebox building and drop off options.
While you can still build a shoebox the traditional way, there is now an online option.
“For $25, you can actually go in and pick out exactly what you want," McDonald said. "It’ll cover shipping cost and everything that you need to do and you can do it from the comfort of your home.”
There are also fewer drop off locations this year. Temple Baptist Church is one of 11 central shoebox drop-off locations in the Pine Belt.
“For us, I think here at Temple and in the community and in Hattiesburg, it’s a way to be able to spread not only the good news but also joy and excitement during this Christmas season all around the world," McDonald said. "Starting here and then just seeing it go all across the globe.”
National Collection Week runs from Nov. 16-23.
Pine Belt drop off locations include:
- Petal - First Baptist Church of Runnelstown.
- Wiggins - Vardaman Street Baptist Church.
- Poplarville - First Baptist Church The Net.
- Laurel - First Baptist Church of Laurel.
- Columbia - Goss Baptist Church.
- Collins- Covington Jefferson Davis Baptist Association.
- Laurel - Bethlehem Community Church.
- Lucedale - George Greene Baptist Association.
- Taylorsville - First Baptist Taylorsville.
- Waynesboro - First Baptist Church.