Operation Christmas Child underway

Churches throughout Central Iowa are taking part again this year in a project to deliver gift-filled shoeboxes to children who are hurting in some of the world’s most impoverished and war-torn countries.

In Newton, Grace Church and First Baptist Church are among those participating in this year’s Operation Christmas Child project. Choices Christian book store and Bridgehouse Coffee Shop, both on the west side of the courthouse square, also offer OCC gift box kits.

Gift-filled boxes will be collected the week of Nov. 18-25. Boxes may be returned to Choices, Bridgehouse Coffee or to either church. Grace Church is located at 1620 N. 11th Ave. E. First Baptist Church is located at 620 S. Eighth Ave. E.

OCC is a charity project of Samaritan’s Purse, the international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. It partners with local churches and businesses to deliver the shoeboxes.

Since 1993, it has hand-delivered more than 100 million shoeboxes to children in more than 130 countries. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, OCC hopes to collect another 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2013.

Daily News Editor Bob Eschliman may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 423.