Taylor County raises goal to 7,000 shoebox donations for Operation Christmas Child

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Taylor County raises goal to 7,000 shoebox donations for Operation Christmas Child
Campbellsville University students bring their filled shoeboxes to Ransdell Chapel during the 2018 collections week. (CU Photo by Holly Jo Evans)

By Ariel Emberton, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Operation Christmas Child is underway and donations are needed. The Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection week is Nov. 18 through Nov. 25.

“For the eighth consecutive year, Campbellsville University will again serve as the Taylor County drop-off center for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind,” Sherry Bowen, secretary for Campbellsville University’s School of Theology, said.

Operation Christmas Child is a part of the Samaritan’s Purse project which works to spread joy to millions of children around the world by filling shoeboxes with a “Wow!” item such as a doll or soccer ball, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. For some children, this may be the only gift they receive for Christmas.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million shoeboxes to children across 160 countries and territories. The organization’s goal this year is to send another 11 million shoeboxes to places like Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine.

Last year 6,120 shoeboxes were collected at the Taylor County drop-off center with Campbellsville University students, faculty, staff and coaches contributing 585 boxes. This year’s goal is to collect 7,000 shoeboxes. This year, Campbellsville University will be paying for the postage on all boxes that come from the university.

Items eligible for the shoeboxes include soap, washcloths and toothbrushes. Personal notes or pictures may be included but must be taped to the box in some way so it does not fall out during the opening process. Hard plastic cups or bowls or wooden or metal spoons are also acceptable.

Hats, sunglasses and simple clothing and jewelry are appropriate as are school supplies such as pencils, sharpeners, paper and markers.

Stuffed animals or soft dolls are highly sought-after items for all ages and sexes. Tennis balls are recommended due to their size and deflated balls with pumps are also popular according to those who have been on distribution trips.

Purses, backpacks, large sturdy toy cars, trucks and trains, party horns, duck calls and whistles are also allowed in the boxes.

Candy, sidewalk chalk, Play-Doh, lip gloss, ChapStick®, breakable toys and toothpaste are NOT to be included in the boxes.

When packing the boxes, all packaging is to be removed from the purchased items. Items that are confusing are not to be included in the boxes. The organization recommends sending fewer items in more boxes in order to accommodate the most children possible.

For more information on packing shoeboxes visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

“Our focus at CU is on servant leadership, and it’s great to see our students serving kids all over the world through the simple act of filling a shoebox,” Bowen said.

“What a blessing it is to know that through the Taylor County Drop-off Center, thousands of children will receive a gift but, more importantly, have the opportunity to learn about Jesus,” Bowen said.

After a child receives a shoebox, they are invited to enroll in The Greatest Journey, a 12-week discipleship program where children learn what it means to faithfully follow Jesus and to share their faith with others.

The Taylor County Operation Christmas Child drop off location is at Campbellsville University, 901 Meader St., Campbellsville, the former Caulk Hardware building.

There are various collection hours for the 2019 operation. Collection hours are Nov. 18 through Nov. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.; Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Nov. 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. and Nov. 25 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 14,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region.  The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.