Samaritan’s Purse flagship Christmas ministry, Operation Christmas Child looks different this year with online purchases and minimal-contact curbside drop-offs due to COVID-19.
Instead of traditional “packing parties” held indoors, many congregations are opting for alternatives that incorporate social distancing and other pandemic-related protocols.
One of the innovations Samaritan’s Purse has adopted is offering individuals and groups the opportunity to pack a shoebox digitally—selecting and purchasing toys online. Additional suggestions include limiting in-person packing parties to just family or dropping of items at individual shoebox filling stations at local businesses.
The group also highlighted the bulk purchase of bundled gifts that individuals could pick up at a church and small groups could then sort and place into shoeboxes.
During National Collection Week, Nov. 16 – 23, more than 4,000 collection sites nationally will offer curbside drop-off where Operation Christmas Child volunteers with personal protection equipment will unload shoeboxes from individuals’ vehicles.
Matt Smith, a member of First Baptist Church in Wylie, Texas and logistics team leader for Operation Christmas Child in South Collin County said, “The objective is for it to be a safe experience for volunteers and for shoebox donors.”
Source: Baptist Standard