Arlington donates 830 gift boxes to OCC

ARLINGTON — Arlington residents really came through for children in need worldwide, according to organizers of this year’s Operation Christmas Child collection drive.

OCC spokesperson Jennifer Butler reported that 830 colorful shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies and other gifts were dropped off at OCC’s Arlington site during its Nov. 15-22 National Collection Week, but those who wish to pitch in for needy children in more than 130 countries served by OCC can still do so over the holidays.

Butler explained that OCC now offers a “Build a Box” online service that allows anyone to pack a customized virtual shoebox gift set without even leaving their homes.

“One more shoebox means one more child, one more life that can have hope and joy,” OCC Northwest Regional Director John Quick said. “The power of a simple shoebox gift is incredible.”

At the Samaritan’s purse website, located at, donors will be asked to select a child’s age and gender, and then shop through an online selection of toys, school supplies and much-needed day-to-day living items like hygiene supplies, before being prompted to offer a personalized note of encouragement to their child. The gift boxes will be assembled by volunteers at OCC’s processing center in Charlotte, N.C. Through tracking technology, donors can follow the box to find out where it will be delivered.

“In just minutes, you can bring hope to a child in a desperate situation,” OCC Vice President Jim Harrelson said. “This process is unlike anything we’ve ever done and it will allow even more children to receive gift-filled shoeboxes. We want each of these children to know the true meaning of Christmas.”

Operation Christmas Child is part of the international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 77 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world.

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