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Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

Operation Christmas Child sends shoe boxes filled with gifts to children in need around the world. Three churches in Lawrence County are serving as drop-off locations for the program during National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23. A workshop with both in-person and virtual options is planned for Sept. 12 to help local leaders prepare for collection season.

IRONTON — Although the COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted everyday life in some way for nearly everyone on the planet, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, is moving forward with plans to collect shoeboxes filled with essential school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys during National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23.

In preparation for collection season, the Southeast Ohio Area Team invites all Lawrence County Project Leaders — and community members who have or who are interested in packing shoeboxe — to attend a local Project Leaders Workshop in person or via Zoom.

The meeting is planned for 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Sept. 12. These attendance options are available:

  • Option 1: Attend the meeting in person at First Baptist Church, 304 S. 5th St., Ironton; Union Baptist Church, 10109 St. Rt. 141, Kitts Hills; or Tri-State Worship Center, 901 Solida Road, South Point.
  • Option 2: If you don’t feel comfortable attending the workshop in person, there will be a virtual Project Leader Workshop through Zoom.

Prospective participants are asked to pre-register for either option by contacting Deidra Libby at 740-418-2082 or and indicating which option you want.

For information about Project Leaders Workshop opportunities in the Ashland or Huntington areas, contact Huntington Area Coordinator Rebecca Parker-Moore at 774 641-2784.

Since 1993, more than 178 million shoebox gifts have been delivered to children in 160 countries and territories. Last year, many shoeboxes packed by Lawrence County families, churches, schools and community groups went to Mozambique, Madagascar and Burundi.

In 2020, through our volunteer network across the U.S., Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect 11 million shoebox gifts to reach children in countries like Peru, Rwanda and the Ukraine. During National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23, the three Lawrence County Drop-Off sites will again be open.

One convenient and personal way to pack shoebox gifts directly from home is to go to and build a shoebox online. You may make it your own by choosing from a list of gifts, then adding a letter and a photo. Operation Christmas Child will pack it for you and send it off.

Samaritan’s Purse is monitoring local, state and national guidelines and making adjustments to help protect the health of everyone involved in the collecting and processing of shoebox gifts.

To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, visit or contact Southeast Ohio Area Team Area Coordinator Sherrie Klingaman at 740-395-6468.

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