Norfolk churches needed as shoebox collection centres
Trish Ellse, Regional Manager in the East for Samaritan’s Purse, is appealing to churches across Norfolk to consider becoming Church Collection Centres for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes during the National Collection Week this November.
The Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign is getting underway for 2019 and Trish Ellse from Wymondham's Alive Church, who manages Samaritan's Purse in the East of England is appealing to Norfolk churches to think about becoming a Church Collection Centre during National Collection Week on 11 – 18 November.
Trish said: “If a church could store some shoeboxes we would love them to sign up as a Church Collection Centre. It provides a natural opportunity to welcome and chat to members of your local community, giving local people an opportunity to come into your church, drop off their shoebox gift, learn about the different events the church may have on offer for Christmas and perhaps create opportunities for prayer.”
Every year, the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse mobilises churches, schools and community groups across a number of Western countries to pack shoeboxes as Christmas presents for children living in Sub Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
In 2018, 5,500 shoeboxes were donated from across Norfolk packed lovingly with toys, stationery, winter woolies and toiletries.
To become a Church Collection Centre a church would need volunteers who can be available during National Collection Week of 11-18 November. Trish said: “They’ll simply need to be on hand during reasonable opening hours and ready to welcome Operation Christmas Child supporters as they drop their shoeboxes off.”
It is recommended that one volunteer take a lead to coordinate the team and be the main contact for Operation Christmas Child staff. The church would also require a volunteer driver or drivers able to deliver shoeboxes to a regional Processing Centre or collect shoeboxes from local groups (schools and workplaces) and room to store around 500 shoeboxes.
Operation Christmas Child would list your church’s address and opening hours on their website. They would also provide posters and leaflets, a banner and other resources, a support contact person and extra optional activities such as hosting a Shoebox Packing Party or a special shoebox service.
To register your interest and to find out more about becoming a Church Collection Centre for Operation Christmas Child please complete the online form here.
Pictured above, Trish Ellse from Wymondham (centre) out in Bosnia helping to deliver the Samaritan’s Purse shoeboxes to children.