Churches sought for Operation Christmas Child project

Churches sought for Operation Christmas Child project

Marge Hart, left, Wanda Stollings and Arlene Nugen of First Baptist Church of Newcomerstown stand in front of a wall of shoeboxes they’ve packed for Operation Christmas Child.


The Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, collects shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items and delivers them to children in need around the world.

For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. Since 2013 Samaritan’s Purse, which includes Coshocton, Carroll, Harrison, Holmes and Tuscarawas counties, has collected over a quarter of a million shoeboxes.

Even with the challenges of COVID-19 in 2020, First Baptist Church of Newcomerstown packed over 1,000 shoeboxes, and 2021 is its sixth year packing the boxes. This small congregation of less than 100, made up of approximately 95% retired senior citizens, is on a mission. Led by project leader Nancy Huffman, this group meets once a month to pack shoeboxes.

Many members make quality craft items for the boxes, like backpacks, hacky sacks, crocheted handbags, necklaces, dresses, stuffed dolls and fabric racetracks that include small cars and trucks.

Each week one shoebox item is printed and placed in the church bulletin as a reminder of what is currently needed, and a donation box in the church provides a place for members to drop off their items. Three times a year, an envelope is placed in the bulletin for members to contribute toward shoebox shipping.

For more information on how your church can participate, call Esther Troyer at 330-852-4039.

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