Operation Christmas Child is a ministry focusing on children all over the world. These children are victims of poverty, war, natural disasters and disease. Individuals, families, businesses, and churches are asked to pack shoeboxes filled with gifts which bring joy, hope and love to these children.

Yuliya Shubina received a shoebox gift in Central Asia that connected her to a caring friend halfway around the world. Her father brought her a shoebox gift from missionaries who were distributing them to local children. There were many gifts inside, including a letter from the girl who had packed the shoebox. Yuliya and the girl exchanged letters for many years afterward, and when Yuliya came to the United States to finish high school, she was able to meet her pen pal in person. Today Yuliya serves with Operation Christmas Child.

If you want to help the first step is to get a shoebox. Secondly, decide if you want to pack for a boy or a girl (three age categories to choose from). Suggested items to put in your box are school supplies, hygiene items, and a toy such as a doll, stuffed animal, or soccer ball and pump. A $9 donation is appreciated to help with shipping cost. You can visit samaritanspurse.org/occ for more information.

Drop-Off Locations are available to collect shoeboxes November 13 – 20. St Andrews Presbyterian Church is the drop-off location for the Irmo community and surrounding areas.

Collection times are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – 9 am – 1 pm; Tuesday and Thursday – 4 – 7 pm; Saturday – 9 am – noon; Sunday – 1 pm – 5 pm.

In 2016 St. Andrews Presbyterian church collected 4,423 shoeboxes. 80 Individuals/ Families participated, along with more than 25 churches (Irmo and Chapin), Businesses and Clubs such as Town of Irmo employees, Northwest YMCA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, St.. Andrews Women’s Club and Trail Life.