NEWBERG, Ore. (KOIN) — Despite the pandemic, people are finding ways to give back during this holiday season. Across the nation and here, in locally, Operation Christmas Child is now underway.
The project partners with local churches to collect shoebox gifts-filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items and deliver them to children in need around the world.
This year, Operation Christmas Child shifted to collecting donations curbside. Grace Baptist Church in Newberg serves as one of the drop-off sites for the project.
“We’re hoping to collect maybe 1,500 boxes in Newberg. That’s roughly what we collected last year,” local coordinator Paul Jellum said. So far, the church has received more than 400 shoeboxes.
It’s a passion project for Paul and Kris Jellum. The couple has been involved with Operation Christmas Child for a decade. Each year they’ve packed and donated dozens of boxes, and have also volunteered as drop-off site coordinators for their community.
“We’re very blessed in this country. There are children all over the world who live in very unfortunate situations and we really want to share God’s love with the world this is a great way to do it,” Jellum said.
Watch video to find out how to pack an Operation Christmas Child shoebox for a boy or girl in need:
Jellum said if people want to donate, but don’t have a shoebox to do so they can pick one up at the church. Operation Christmas Child also now offers an option to virtually pack a box, making it accessible to anyone.
“We know this year it’s different … there are people who packed several hundred boxes themselves because they couldn’t have the packing party. A couple came in the other night and brought in 218 boxes that they packed together,” Kris Jellum said. “Whether there’s a pandemic in the world or not, there are still ways we can give back and this is one of those ways.“
This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect 11 million shoebox gifts to provide to children in countries like Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine, the non-profit’s website stated.
The last day to drop-off a shoebox(es) is Monday, November 23rd.
Newberg, OR – Grace Baptist Church
1619 E 2nd Street Newberg, OR 97132-3218
Fri, Nov. 20: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 21: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Sun, Nov. 22: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Mon, Nov. 23: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM