Operation Christmas Child collections begin

Bill Holbert, left, and Steve Metheny take a break after moving six boxes of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to the loading entrance of Emmanuel Baptist Church Monday. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

PARKERSBURG — Christmas for a child in a foreign country began Monday as Operation Christmas Child collections started coming in to area collection points.

There are 15 collection points in 11 counties in West Virginia, according to Janice Childers, who oversees the collection within those West Virginia counties.

“The collection goes on through Monday, Nov. 20 and then it all heads to Boone, N.C., where Samaritan’s Purse is located,” she said. “Some are packed in traditional shoeboxes like in the past but more are starting to be packed in transparent, plastic storage containers about the same size. Those plastic containers are hot resistant and cold resistant. Those boxes are being used as anything from digging tools to carrying water in. Families are finding many ways to use the plastic containers after the gifts are delivered.”

Childers said the goal for the 11-county area is 10,580 shoe boxes. “West Virginia is part of the Great Lakes region,” she said. “That’s a four-state region which also includes Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. The goal for the region is one million and nationally the goal is 11 million boxes.”

She said the boxes will go to over 100 countries this Christmas.

Carolyn Holbert works on clear plastic boxes for shipment overseas as part of Operation Christmas Child. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

There are many things which are acceptable and encouraged besides toys. “Things like personal hygiene items are good as well as school supplies,” Childers said. “There are some areas where if a child doesn’t have a pencil, they can’t attend school while others have students who share pencils but some students have to wait to do their work until others have finished. These are things we tend to take for granted here.”

She said donated boxes can include a “wow” item if possible. “I have seen small, uninflated soccer balls with a small air pump go into the boxes. That’s a gift an entire school or community could benefit from.

“Then you have the stuffed animals, dolls for girls. People are becoming inventive with what goes in. I’ve seen small fishing kits going in. That’s teaching a child a life-long skill.”

Things not allowed, according to samaritanspurse.org, include candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; seeds; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

“Items such as these just get held up in customs,” Childers said. “It delays the process of getting the gifts to the children.”

Bill Holbert takes a box loaded with Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to the loading entrance of Emmanuel Baptist Church Monday. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

Despite the huge numbers of boxes delivered in the past and the number set for this year, Childers said “a child, on average, receives only one box in a lifetime.”

Inside each box, along with the gifts, a child will receive a small booklet about the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a video at samaritanspurse.org which instructs a person on how to properly pack a shoebox donation.

Samaritan’s Purse is suggesting a $9 donation per box to help with collection, processing, shipping and inclusion of gospel materials within each shoebox. “A person can pay online and print a label to put on their box,” she said. “A person can use the tracking label to discover the destination of their shoebox.

“There are national teams waiting in each country for these shoeboxes to arrive,” she said. “They take the packages, by boat, on the backs of camels, however it takes to get the gifts to the children.

“I saw a box with a pair of small girl’s shoes packed inside,” she said. “I’ve seen God move many times in this. Somewhere in a far-off country, a little girl needs a pair of shoes. That box will find her and those shoes will be the exact size she needs. I believe it.”

Steve Metheny, right, holds down an Operation Christmas Child box lid Monday as Evan Frees tapes it shut at Emmanuel Baptist Church while Bill Holbert, center, watches. Emmanuel Baptist Church on 23rd Street is one of three Parkersburg drop-off locations. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)


Operation Christmas Child collection times and locations:

Emmanuel Baptist Church

1710 23rd St.


Steve Metheny, left, grabs another shoebox to load as he and Evan Frees work at filling a shipping box for Operation Christmas Child Monday at Emmanuel Baptist Church during the first day of collections. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

Tuesday: 2-4 p.m.

Wednesday: 9-11 a.m.

Thursday: 2-4 p.m.

Friday: 9-11 a.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m.-noon

Sunday: 4-6 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 20: 8-10 a.m.


Fairlawn Baptist Church

215 Fairlawn Drive


Tuesday: noon-6 p.m.

Wednesday: noon-6 p.m.

Thursday: noon – 6 p.m.

Friday: noon – 6 p.m.

Saturday: noon – 6 p.m.

Sunday: 1 – 4 p.m.

Monday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Red Hill United Methodist

162 Red Hill Church Road


Tuesday: 10 a.m. – noon

Wednesday: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Thursday: 4 – 6 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. – noon

Saturday: 2 – 4 p.m.

Sunday: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Monday: 9 – 11 a.m.


Cornerstone Gospel Church

3100 17th Ave.


Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Thursday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – noon

Sunday: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Monday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


First Baptist Church

of Williamstown

431 Highland Ave.


Tuesday: noon – 3 p.m.

Wednesday: noon – 3 p.m.

Thursday: noon – 3 p.m.

Friday: noon – 3 p.m.

Saturday: noon – 3 p.m.

Sunday: noon – 3 p.m.

Monday: 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.


Mount Zion Baptist Church

2662 Elizabeth Pike

Mineral Wells

Tuesday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Wednesday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Thursday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Sunday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Monday: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.


First Baptist Church of Marietta

301 4th St.


Tuesday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m.- noon

Saturday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday: noon – 4 p.m.

Monday: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.


Porterfield Baptist Church

39 Hollywood Drive

Little Hocking

Tuesday: 10 a.m. – noon

Tuesday: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 10 a.m. – noon

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m. – noon

Thursday: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. – noon

Friday: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – noon

Sunday: 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Monday: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.


Coolville United Methodist Church

26460 Main St.


Tuesday: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Thursday: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – noon

Sunday: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Monday: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.


Beverly United Methodist Church

700 Park St.

Beverly, OH 45715-8915

Tuesday: 11 a.m. – noon

Tuesday: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 11 a.m. – noon

Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: 11 a.m. – noon

Thursday: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m. – noon

Friday: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. – noon

Saturday: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. – noon

Sunday: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Monday: 10 a.m. – noon


First Presbyterian Church

532 North Street


Tuesday: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Friday: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. – noon

Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Monday: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.


First Baptist Church of Woodsfield

114 N Paul Street


Tuesday: 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Thursday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Friday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Sunday: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Monday: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.