Gifts wanted for Operation Christmas ChildGiving is a gift in itself, and people in the Jamestown area are hoping to gather gifts for 850 children through Operation Christmas Child. “I like getting my kids involved with it. They have a lot of fun with it,” said David Patzer.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
By Kari Lucin
The Jamestown Sun
Giving is a gift in itself, and people in the Jamestown area are hoping to gather gifts for 850 children through Operation Christmas Child.
“I like getting my kids involved with it. They have a lot of fun with it,” said David Patzer.
Patzer and his wife, Amy, are serving as relay center coordinators for the Jamestown area’s efforts.
In Operation Christmas Child, volunteers fill shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, hygiene items, clothes or other necessities and send them to children all over the world. The project is organized by Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.
“We fill these shoeboxes with good stuff,” David Patzer said. “The kid that gets this, it’ll probably be their only gift. They all go to countries with great need and poverty.”
All kinds of items can be put into the boxes, from tools to toys, and writing materials to soap.
Properly-sized boxes are available at Temple Baptist, but ordinary shoeboxes can be used, or people can even pack items in a shoebox-sized, reusable plastic bin, which would be a gift in itself.
Sometimes people send a personal note along with the gifts. They can also include the $7 that pays for getting the box to a child, if they wish, Patzer said.
Items that should not be included, however, are used or damaged items, war-related things such as toy guns, knives or military action figures, chocolate or food, out-of-date candy, liquids or lotions, medicine or vitamins, aerosol cans and anything breakable.
The boxes should be marked for boys or girls ages 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14, and then dropped off at Temple Baptist in Jamestown, which is the local collection site.
Collection week is Nov. 12-19. Temple Baptist is open for box drop-offs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.
The boxes are loaded onto a semi truck and brought to Bismarck, and from there they go to Minneapolis. There, they’re inspected to make sure all the items inside are appropriate, and the next time the boxes are opened, it will be by children receiving them.
After kids receive their gifts, they can go through a 12-lesson discipleship study in their own languages as a follow-up.
People will be able to follow their shoeboxes online if they choose, to find out where the box ends up, by registering at the Operation Christmas Child website, http://www. samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/.
“I enjoy doing this with my family. It’s something simple a person can do — filling a shoebox,” Patzer said.
More than 200 boxes have already been packed in the Jamestown area, many the result of a packing party on Oct. 21 that 75 people attended.
“Anyone and everyone can do it — church groups, schools, civic groups, individuals — it’s just opened up to everyone,” Patzer said.
People can also contribute financially online or find more information on the project, at the Operation Christmas Child website.
Globally, Operation Christmas Child hopes to send out 9 million boxes this year.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at