As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Barren County families are expressing their gratitude by giving back. Residents are filling shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week Nov. 18 – 25, local residents will collect shoebox gifts at the drop-off locations in Glasgow. The Samaritan’s Purse project, partnering with churches worldwide, will deliver these gifts to children in need. The Bowling Green Area Team volunteers hope to collect more than 15,754 gifts during the week. “It’s amazing to see the local community rally together for a global impact,” said Barren County volunteer and Drop-Off Coordinator Juanita Pendygraft. “We see all ages getting involved – and more and more every year.”

Barren County volunteers including families, churches and other groups are coming together to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind. In 2019, Samaritan’s Purse hopes to collect enough Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to reach 11 million children, with 2,750 coming from the Barren County area.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 828-278-1786, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

Barren County's drop-off site is at Southside Baptist Church, located at 1163 Trojan Trail in Glasgow. The schedule for Shoebox Drop-Off is:

Nov. 18-9 -11 a.m.

Nov. 19-9-11 a.m.

Nov. 20-3-5:30 p.m.

Nov. 21-2-5 p.m.

Nov. 22-2-5 p.m.

Nov. 23-9-11 a.m.

Nov. 24-3-5:30 p.m.

Nov. 25-8-10 a.m.

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