Gainesville Daily Register

December 4, 2012

County residents collect 8,500 boxes for Operation Christmas Child

Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register

Gainesville — With thousands of shoe box gifts already collected in Gainesville, area residents are encouraged to continue packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child through “Build a Box,” an online giving tool.  

This year, the Samaritan’s Purse project expects to reach a milestone—collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since 1993.

Hundreds of volunteers have worked to spread Christmas cheer at the Gainesville collection site where 8,500 shoe boxes packed with school supplies, toys and necessity items were dropped off by residents during National Collection Week. Although National Collection Week has ended, it’s not too late for participants of Operation Christmas Child to fill shoe boxes online with items for hurting kids overseas.

Many local families are choosing to pack shoe box gifts virtually through “Build a Box.” By visiting the project’s website at, here is how you can get involved:

• Select a child’s age and gender

• Shop through an online selection of gifts

• Virtually “pack” them in an empty shoe box, and

• Finish it off by writing a note of encouragement

Then, through tracking technology, donors can "follow” the box to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has collected more than 94 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to suffering children in more than 130 countries.  For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 817-595-2230 or visit