Operation Christmas Child launches in Southern Crescent

Efforts are underway to collect gifts for children, in anticipation of the holiday season.

Organizers of Operation Christmas Child, a non-profit organization, are asking residents to fill shoeboxes with presents for youngsters, as part of an annual campaign. Volunteers assembled Tuesday, at Pinecrest Baptist Church, 175 Foster Drive, in McDonough, for the second in a series of donation drives in Henry County.

Representatives from Operation Christmas Child collected shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, and other small items for children. The donated items are packed and sent out worldwide, according to Jim English, Network Collection Center Coordinator for the McDonough area.

Last year, Operation Christmas Child, based in Boone, N.C., collected more than 25,000 shoe boxes in the McDonough area.

The initial collection drive was held Saturday at First Baptist Church of Locust Grove, located at 2950 Tanger Blvd. There are nine relay centers locally which bring the gifts to Pinecrest Baptist Church, English said. Those sites include: the First Baptist Church of Locust Grove; Smyrna Presbyterian Church, in Stockbridge; the Stockbridge Community Church, the First Baptist Church of Griffin, and First Baptist of Jonesboro, English said.

The boxes are collected during National Collection Week, Nov. 14, through Nov. 21. To find the closest location to donate shoeboxes, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.