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Step Up and Fill Shoebox Gifts for Kids in Need

Several local locations will serve as collection sites this year for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child — the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.

During National Collection Week, Nov. 14–21, Santa Barbara residents can donate shoeboxes filled with school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and fun toys, such as a doll or soccer ball for Operation Christmas Child to deliver to children in need around the world.

This year, Santa Barbarans and residents in neighboring cities hope to contribute more than 5,000 shoebox gifts toward the 2016 global goal of reaching 12 million children. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.

“The shoebox gifts donated by Santa Barbara volunteers at these drop-off locations will shine a light of hope to children living in poverty overseas,” said Nathan Bates, West Coast regional director for Operation Christmas Child.

“Anyone is welcome to pack a shoebox and help a child facing difficult circumstances to feel loved and not forgotten,” Bates said.

Local collection sites and times are as follows. Hours are subject to change.

Community Covenant Church, 5070 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara. Hours: 9 a.m., 5-7 p.m. Nov. 14 through Nov. 17; 7-9 a.m., 4-8 p.m., Nov. 18; 7 a.m.-noon, 1-6 p.m., Nov. 19; 1-4 p.m., Nov. 20; 7 a.m.-noon, Nov. 21.

Shoreline Community Church, 935 San Andres St. Santa Barbara. Hours: 7- 9 a.m., 4-7 p.m., Nov. 14 through 18; 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 19; 1-5 p.m. Nov. 20; 7-10 a.m., Nov. 21.

Valley Christian Fellowship, 891 N Refugio Road, Santa Ynez. Hours: 7:30-9:30 a.m., Nov. 14 through 18; 9-11 a.m., Nov. 19; 8 a.m.-noon, Nov. 20; 7:30- 9:30 a.m., Nov. 21.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 714-432-7030 or visit

By going online to give the suggested donation of $7 per shoebox gift, participants can follow their box to discover where in the world it will be delivered. Donors also can pack a shoebox gift online and upload a photo and note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.

— Kelsey Heng for Samaritan’s Purse.


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