At the end of November, St Andrew’s Church in Churchdown is opening as a pop-up processing centre for the annual Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection. Many hands are needed to make this happen, and so the church is appealing for volunteers to sign up and take part in what will be a wonderful opportunity to get together with friends and family to bring cheer and joy to a child in need at Christmas.
Every year, Operation Christmas Child (OCC), part of the international relief organisation Samaritan’s Purse, reaches out to children in need globally with the gift of a shoebox of toys and other items at Christmas. For many of the children, sadly, it may be the only gift they ever receive. In light of the ongoing war in Ukraine, this year two-thirds of the shoeboxes collected in the UK will be sent to displaced Ukrainian children living in neighbouring countries such as Moldova, Romania and Poland, where Samaritan’s Purse are on the ground helping to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian refugees.
Following the National Collection Week for shoeboxes (14th to 21st November), St Andrew’s is hosting a pop-up processing centre from 21st to 26th November.
Chantal Whitehouse from St Andrew’s says, “The pop-up facility will be one of many processing centres across the UK, where volunteers will inspect and organise shoeboxes filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items for delivery to children worldwide. The expected 10,000 shoeboxes prepared for shipment at St Andrew’s will contribute to the 2022 global goal of reaching 11 million children in need. We look forward to welcoming many new people from Churchdown and the local area to St Andrew’s during this time to help at the centre.”
St Andrew’s will also be a drop-off location for local residents and groups who want to fill their own boxes and pay for the delivery to a child. These simple shoebox gifts make a real difference to the lives of the children who receive them.
Chantal adds, “We’ll need lots of help to sort and check boxes, pack boxes into cartons, welcome people to the church and help with car park duties. There will be four sessions a day, starting on the Monday afternoon and ending on Saturday morning. Volunteering is extremely flexible – so people can sign up for as many sessions as they wish, on dates to suit them.
“Volunteers need to register online in advance, to enable OCC to plan staffing and ensure the smooth running of the processing centre, using the QR code or weblink.”
To find out more, please visit the St. Andrew’s website: St Andrew’s & St Bartholomew’s (stastb.church) or email hcru1685212978hc.bt1685212978sats@1685212978nimda1685212978
or simply scan this QR code to register to volunteer and choose your session(s) or click this link.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, visit http://samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child