Church collecting gifts for children around world

First Christian Church is a drop-off location for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child, which collects gift-filled shoeboxes for children around the world.

The project’s national collection week begins today and continues through Friday, with dropoffs at the church, 531 Fifth St.

Shoe boxes are filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items and then are distributed by Operation Christmas Child to children living in poverty overseas.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, visit

Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. People who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse 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.