Samaritan’s Purse shoebox drive to start

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2015

By Justin Fedich | The Selma Times-Journal

A shoebox can go a long way in ensuring a child in need has a Merry Christmas.

The Selma Baptist Association is collecting shoeboxes of gifts to send to less fortunate children in other countries as a part of its annual Operation Christmas Child, an international effort ran by Samaritan’s Purse. National Collection Week takes place from Nov. 16 to Nov. 23, when people are welcome to drop off shoeboxes of gifts at the Selma Baptist Association.

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The shoeboxes can be packed with school supplies, candy, toys and non-liquid hygiene items. Relay Center Coordinator Sandra Canterbury said she wants people to include a “Wow” item in their shoebox.

A “Wow” item is just as it sounds: an unexpected item that makes a child say “Wow” with joy when they open it.

“I’m deflating the soccer balls and putting a pump and a soccer ball in there, so that’s a wow toy to them when they get that,” Canterbury said.

Last year, the Selma Baptist Association shipped out 2,612 shoeboxes. Canterbury said each year the number of participation in Operation Christmas Child in Selma has increased.

Canterbury said the shoeboxes can contain a wide assortment of items, but that the shoeboxes should be marked by gender and age group. A shoebox can be sent to a boy or girl ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-12.

Canterbury also said the shoebox gifts are a way to introduce less fortunate children in other countries to Christianity.

“Every minute, two children accept the Lord,” Canterbury said.

The national organization, Samaritan’s Purse, strives to provide physical and spiritual aid to those in need around the world.

Samaritan’s Purse requests that people do not include the following items in their shoebox: damaged items, war-related items, chocolate or food, out-of-date candy, liquids or lotions, medications, vitamins, breakable items or aerosol cans.

The shoebox of gifts should be brought to the Selma Baptist Association at 2193 Broad St. from Monday, Nov. 16 to Monday, Nov. 23.

For more information, visit, or call the Selma Baptist Assocation at 872-1640.