MANKATO – Shoppers preparing for their children’s new school year may consider stocking up on extra pencils, other supplies and small gifts for children attending classes in needy countries around the world.
“There are some really good sales right now, like end-of-season toy deals,” said Paulette Adams, coordinator of an Operation Christmas Child collection slated for mid-November at Hilltop United Methodist Church.
The church at 108 South Manitou Drive is a central drop-off location for the annual collection of children’s donations in several countries, including African and Caribbean countries. While the collection is in a few months, now would be a good time to purchase a few more items to pack in a shoebox for shipping overseas, Adams said.
“The gifts go to children who have never received a gift in their life. They have the opportunity to know that someone in the world cares about them, ”she said in an interview on the 2018 campaign.
Donations given must be appropriate for one of three age categories: 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. Some handmade items are accepted.
“I crocheted little hats and gloves to send,” Adams said, adding that some of the gifts will go to children who live in mountainous areas where the nights are chilly.
The 2020 collection at Hilltop was a curbside event and this year’s collection will be the same.
Volunteers will pick up gifts left outside the church – a process that will save donors time and help protect against the coronavirus.
Participants can also use online options to purchase gifts and track their wrapped donations.
Operation Christmas Child is a mission of the Samaritan Purse international relief program chaired by Franklin Graham, son of Christian evangelist Billy Graham.
According to the association’s website, Governor Tate Reeves asked for help from the Evangelical Christian Relief Organization to help his state. Mississippi is hammered by the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Samaritan’s Purse is also responding to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that recently rocked southeastern Haiti.