MARQUETTE — Locals across the UP are coming together to spread a little love to children in need across the world. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac has more on how packing one shoe-box can make a difference.

Local volunteers are on a mission this week code word: Operation Christmas Child, and you can join them.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill a shoe-box with toys, clothes, school supplies, toiletries and anything else you can think of that a child may need.

The shoe boxes get shipped around the world, including certain parts of the U.S., to children ages two to 14. Bethel Baptist Church in Marquette is the local drop off center for Marquette County.

Last year the church collected 1300 boxes, this year their goal is 1500. They’ll provide the box, just as long as you provide the goodies and a $7 donation that goes directly to Samaritan’s Purse, so they can send the boxes across the world.

Operation Christmas Child is a project under the organization Samaritan’s Purse. The organization was founded by Bob Pierce in 1970, who was the mentor of Franklin Graham, a well–known American minister. Pierce and others founded this ministry and project after he witnessed so many impoverished people on missions trips.

Marquette County Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child Sandy Thomsen, “They decided that they would get an organization, which is Operation Christmas Child, to pack shoe-boxes that would send needed items to children, and hopefully these children would feel some love coming their way and they would have some possessions that were their own.”

The Senior Pastor at Bethel says that it’s great seeing people of all ages get involved.

Pastor Brian Oberg says, “I think there is just a generosity here in America that people have, and I think when they see the needs, and I think particularly at Christmas time, people are just really touched if they sense that there’s a child somewhere that’s not going to receive a Christmas gift and so I think that just touches the hearts of a lot of people.”

This week is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. If you would like to donate a packed shoe-box or a monetary contribution you can swing by the church on Grove Street.

Drop off times:

Wed Nov 18 5:00-8:00
Thursday Nov 19 & Friday Nov 20 9:30-12:00 & 5:00-8:00
Saturday Nov 21 10:00-4:00

For more information about Operation Christmas Child click here.