Each year Chilhowee Hills participates in Operation Christmas Child, the world-wide effort by Samaritan’s Purse to help spread the gospel through the giving of gifts to needy children and families at Christmas time.

This year, we are already in full swing. We are already collecting boxes and the deadline of Nov. 17 is fast approaching. Here are a couple of reminders for packing your box:

  • Anyone can pack a shoebox. Individuals, families, or groups can fill empty shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys, such as dolls or soccer balls.
  • You don’t have to use an official Operation Christmas Child shoebox or even an actual shoebox. Any box the approximate size of a shoebox will do.
  • Learn how to pack a shoebox, view gift suggestions, get your Follow Your Box label and find the nearest drop-off location at samaritanspurse.org/occ.
  • Do not include candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; seeds; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items, such as snow globes or glass containers; or aerosol cans.
  • Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through Follow Your Box and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.

We are trying a couple of new things this year. If you do not have time to shop for a box yourself, you can make a donation of $20-$25 and one of our personal shoppers will do the shopping for you. If you are interested, simply put a check in the offering plate and mark the memo line with Operation Christmas Child and we will take care of it for you. Also, we will have a packing party on Nov. 16 at 9 AM at the church to pack boxes to send. If you are interested, just show up and help!

Thanks so much for all of your generous donations!