Operation Christmas Child Has Kicked Off 2020 Shoebox Drive

From Staff Reports

Becky Cooper hopes local residents will not let the COVID-19 pandemic keep them from remembering  unfortunate children across the world this winter.

Cooper, drop-off coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, was at work, with a crew of volunteers at Hope Church, Monday afternoon, beginning a totally different type of collection process for the annual Samaritan’s Purse present drive.

This year the group is doing a curbside drop-off, in which individuals or groups bringing packed shoeboxes will not have to get out of their vehicle, to safely drop the boxes off.

“Our donors do not need to get out of their vehicles,” Cooper said. “We unload their cars and the we count the boxes and they are cartonized and readied for transportation to Farmington. We’re making sure that everybody involved in the process is protected by wearing PPE [personal protective equipment], some masks, gloves hen necessary, and using hand sanitizer. It’s just a  safe way of assuring that people are comfortable.”

Notes are included in the boxes that includes a Christian message

“We want the message of hope and love through Jesus Christ in these shoe boxes to be spread,” Cooper said. “We just hope and pray for a fine week of weather so that we don’t have to do this in the rain.”

They will be taking drop-offs at Hope Church through next Monday.

Cooper hopes the same level of generosity will be represented as in past years despite the pandemic.

“I am hopeful because we serve a big God and it’s up to Him,” she said. “We’re living in an extremely different world and there are some people who didn’t want to go to stores to shop personally. But, you can actually build a box online. You can go to Samaritan’s Purse, you can choose a boy or  a girl in the age group you want, then you can choose items off the website to put into your shoe box. So you can do it just right from your computer at home.”

She still hopes to “get really good numbers.”

She noted that as much fear and turmoil as Americans are expensing due to COVID-19, poverty-stricken children around the world still have it much worse.

“For children liv