Oakland Evangelical Free Church is a drop off site for Operation Christmas Child through Santa’s Purse. Volunteer Amber Bridges explains how Operation Christmas Child works. “It’s called the shoebox gift. And what it is is you can take an average shoebox or we have preprinted shoeboxes available at our church in Oakland. And you take that shoebox, go to the store, purchase new items for a boy or a girl, and fill it.”
Bridges says hygiene items, toothbrushes, combs, soap, wash cloths, toys, clothes, t-shirts, and shoes are all examples of items people can buy for young kids across the world.
She adds more than 157 million boxes have been donated worldwide.
Gifts can be dropped off Monday, November 12th through Monday, November 19th. Bridges says it’s a big deal for kids around the world to receive these gifts. “And actually for some of these boys and girls this may be the first gift that they’ve ever received. I always try to instill that with my kids when we’re packing to say how would you feel if you’ve never gotten a gift before? And then two to know that this small gift, like I said toothbrush, toothpaste, a washcloth, a couple matchbox cars, some colors. Very simple things that our kids would like of look at here and be like oh that’s it? These kids have never received a gift.”
Bridges says drop off hours for the Oakland Site can be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ.
There are other drop off locations in places like Fremont, Norfolk, and Columbus, according to Bridges.
She adds the kids don’t receive the gifts at Christmas time, but rather throughout the year.