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“Operation Christmas Child” accepting shoe boxes with toy, hygiene item donations

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
Cody Willard loads boxes in to a trailer, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 for the Operation Christmas Child program at the Calvary Church of Farmington

FARMINGTON — Samaritan’s Purse is collecting shoe boxes of toys and hygiene items at multiple drop-off locations this week to be shipped overseas to underprivileged children living in third-world countries.

The international relief organization launched its annual “Operation Christmas Child” project, aiming to collect 11 million shoe boxes.

Farmington’s Calvary Chapel, located at 6925 E. Main Street, and First Baptist Church Aztec, located at 700 Navajo Ave. in Aztec, are San Juan County’s two drop-off locations.

Other New Mexico drop-off locations include Gallup’s Grace Bible Church, located at 222 Boulder Drive in Gallup.

Rick Willard shows contents of a box that will be donated to underprivileged children in other countries, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 for the Operation Christmas Child program at the Calvary Church of Farmington.

“We’re sending these gifts with the purpose of sharing the gospel with the children that receive them,” Samaritan’s Purse spokesperson Sarah Freund said. “There’s a much larger purpose of the shoe box than that the material aspect of it.”

Freund said specific hygiene items that being requested include bars of soap and wash cloths.

Freund said donors will be directed to curbside drop-off paths while staying in their vehicles, adding that volunteers in personal protective equipment will collect the shoe boxes.

Shoe box donations will be taken through Nov. 23.

“Now more than ever, the children need hope,” Freund said, adding the COVID-19 pandemic makes it a pivotal time to send shoe box donations.

Upcoming drop-off hours

Farmington's Calvary Chapel

3-6 p.m. Nov. 18 and Nov. 19

3-6:30 p.m. Nov. 20

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 21 and Nov. 22

8 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 23

First Baptist Church Aztec

9 a.m.-11 a.m. Nov. 18

5 p.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 19 and Nov. 20

9 a.m.-12 p.m. Nov. 21

1 p.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 22

6 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 23

Gallup's Grace Bible Church

9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 18 through Nov. 20

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 21

12 p.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 22

6 a.m.-8 a.m. Nov. 23

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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