Columbiana First Baptist collects for Operation Christmas Child

Preschoolers at First Baptist Church of Columbiana help pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Front Row, from left, Rudy Poe, Kellen Houston, Colin Endfinger and Abigail Moss. Back row, from left, David Powell, Jonathan Ludwig, Caleb Endfinger, Sam Poe and Drew Shelton. (Contributed)

Preschoolers at First Baptist Church of Columbiana help pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Front Row, from left, Rudy Poe, Kellen Houston, Colin Endfinger and Abigail Moss. Back row, from left, David Powell, Jonathan Ludwig, Caleb Endfinger, Sam Poe and Drew Shelton. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Samaritan’s Purse, founded by Franklin Graham, has sponsored Operation Christmas Child since 1993

The project has delivered over 100 million shoeboxes filled with gifts to children living in over 150 countries. For the first time, the First Baptist Church of Columbiana is a sponsored collection point for the south Shelby area, one of 4,000 collection points in the U.S.

“We support this ministry because we believe God loves every child, and this is an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children around the world who are less fortunate than most of us in America,” said Mike Miller, pastor of FBCC. “It is truly a joy to give. It’s what Christmas is all about.”

Elizabeth Shelton is the FBCC Operation Christmas Child trained coordinator. The third week of November is the National Collection Week for OCC. First Baptist Church of Columbiana, located on Main Street will be opened for the following times to collect shoebox items: Monday, Nov. 18 – Saturday, Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon; Sunday, Nov. 24 from 3-5 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 25 from 9-10 a.m.

“Operation Christmas Child is a very special ministry that touches the deepest places in the heart of children around the world,” Shelton said. “It’s unique in the fact that it’s not the contents of the boxes themselves that really matter, but it’s the message of love and hope that the content represents.”

How to pack a shoebox:

1. Use an empty average size cardboard or plastic shoebox.

2. Determine whether for boy or girl and age: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Mark the age and sex on box.

3. Fill the box with gifts. Examples include dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise with extra batteries, school supplies, coloring books and crayons, toothbrush, mild bar soap, comb, washcloth, T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights with extra batteries. No candy, liquids, lotions, breakable items or toy guns and knives.

4. Include $7 for shipping.

5. Drop off at the Columbiana FBC at specified times.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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