With Christmas now on the horizon, many area folks are continuing preparations to spread the season’s love with Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.
Fellowship Bible Church, located at 2503 Waddell Dr. in Elizabethtown, is a central drop-off site for the effort. Pat Warrick is the local coordinator for the mission work and Lynn Ransom is helping along with Church Relations to assist with the mission in Bladen and Columbus counties.
Warwick explained the boxes are not only collected by churches. She said Boy Scouts, non-profit groups, organizations and businesses help every year with this non-denominational mission to spread God’s Word and love using gift-giving and prayer. The boxes contain gifts for boys and girls from ages 2 to 14.
Last year, more than 11,400 boxes were collected in Bladen County, adding to the more than 11 million collected throughout the world.
Marie Jackson, a volunteer with Operation Christmas Child in Bladen County, said this year’s goal is to at least collect as many boxes as last year.
“We have already started collecting items for next year’s boxes,” Marie added.
The collection officially began Monday and will come to a close Sunday in order to prepare the boxes for shipping.
Anyone who would like to pack a box, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ for information on how to pack the box. Then, drop your newly packed box off at a church participating in the operation or at Fellowship Bible Church.
Volunteers will be available to collect the boxes Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.