(WASHINGTON) - Operation Christmas Child is in full swing in Washington.
Nelson Martin and his wife Joyce worked packing shoeboxes Friday at the Free Methodist Church on Troy Road.
The church is just one of several drop off locations across the state participating in the project. The project is sponsored by Samaritan's Purse.
Also participating locally are churches in Martin, Daviess, Greene, Monroe, Sullivan and Knox counties. The Martin's say this year they expect to pack and ship more than 6, 500 boxes for children in need to more than 50 countries.
Martin says each shoebox is filled with school supplies, hard candies, small toys, hygiene supplies, undergarments, socks and more. Each box is packed for boys and girls and divided into three age groups: 2 to 4, 5 to 9 and 10 to 14.
Each box also contains a special letter from the sender. A box cost $7 to ship and those who choose to pay for the shipping cost online can track where their box is going.
Officially, National Collection Week kicks off Nov. 18 and will run until Nov. 25. Over the course of the week, donations can be dropped off at the church located at 1155 Troy Road and volunteers can come help pack boxes. Call first before making a donations, because there are some restrictions on what can be shipped.
Collection and packing hours will be from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Nov. 18 through Nov. 23, from noon to 4 p.m. on Nov. 24 and 10 a.m. until noon Nov. 25.
So far the Martins, along with several volunteers have already packed more than 100 boxes.
Operation Christmas Child was started in 1993 and since then over 100 million boys and girls in more than 130 countries have experienced God's love through the shoebox gifts. Not only do the children receive the box, but they also receive the book "The Greatest Journey" in their language and after completing the Bible Study each child will receive a copy of the New Testament.
For more information on Operation Christmas Child or to find out how you can help, contact the Free Methodist Church at 254-5440 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org and click on the Operation Christmas Child link.
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