Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Christmas present drop-off now open in GR

 

November 14, 2018



Sweetwater County residents have the chance to send Christmas presents to those in other countries who wouldn’t normally receive one.

Mindy France, Operation Christmas Child central drop off team leader, said the Green River Assembly of God will once again be the drop-off location for Green River residents. However, this location will also be the central Southwest Wyoming location as well.

OCC is a program through Samaritan’s Purse. Not only do they provide relief to those in need, but they tell them about God and Jesus.

The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with churches worldwide to deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

“We believe these simple gifts have the ability to send a tangible message of hope to children facing difficult circumstances,” Regional Director Paul Fischbach said in a press release.

“It is exciting to see the Green River community come together to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with millions of boys and girls around the world.”

“It gives us the opportunity to open the door and share the love of God with people,” France said.

France said Southwest Wyoming has several drop-off locations, Rock Springs, Star Valley, Lyman, Evanston and Kemmerer.

“Our basic goal is to provide a gift to children around the world,” France said.

“For some of these kids, they have never received a Christmas gift. This is the only one they may ever get.”

Boxes about the size of men’s size 10 shoe are sent to more than 105 countries every year. These boxes are filled with hygiene products, including soap, toothbrushes, combs, wash clothes, toys and school supplies.

School supplies are something a lot of these children need, but can’t afford to buy.

“I’ve even seen some send soccer balls deflated with a pump,” France said. “If you can make it fit, you can send it.”

France said the website https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/, has all of the information one needs to know on what items can be sent and how big of a box is needed. It also allows residents to fill a box online and then pay for the shipping.

For those who want to pack their own box, France suggested purchasing plastic tubs the size of a shoe box instead of cardboard. This way, children get the gift of the box. Many children will use the box to carry water or other supplies to and from their homes.

With Green River being the central location, it receives all of Southwest Wyoming’s boxes.

“We’ve grown every year and we’ve gotten more and more boxes,” she said.

France has been involved in the program for the past six years and the Green River center has taken in 1,285 boxes over that time, while Southwest Wyoming has taken in 8,723. Star Valley isn’t big, but they will put together about 600 boxes each year. The community has made it a project and they do it every year.

Even though it’s not required to pay the $9 shipping rate, it’s encouraged. This allows for more packages to be shipped.

France said what’s neat about going online and paying for the package is the purchaser will receive a tracking label, which will let them follow it to see which country their package has gone to.

France said this is a great project for a whole family to do together. Kids just love picking out items for other kids. Residents can even pick out items based on different age groups, 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.

“Most of the boxes I do are for either gender,” France said.

However, it’s up to the one creating the box to decide which gender to make one for. It’s also up to the family on what to put in the box.

“The only thing I always make sure I include is a bar of soap, double bagged, and a wash clothe,” France said.

The boxes donated will be placed in other boxes before they are shipped. These boxes can be wrapped.

For those with traditional boxes the whole box can be wrapped.

Those with plastic boxes should wrap the lid and box separately. To make sure the box doesn’t open, put a rubber band around it.

Some items that can’t be placed in the box are toothpaste, food or candy, glass bottle items, anything liquid. This is all based on what can and can’t be shipped overseas.

Residents can drop off there boxes at the church, 1380 Hitching Post on Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 4-6 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 2-4 p.m., on Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and for last minute drop offs on Monday from 7-11 a.m.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (303) 745-9179, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts.

 

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