The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jan. 28, 2022

TFC involved in Samaritan’s Purse project

Submitted information

It’s that season again!  More than 4,500 locations around the country will serve as collection sites this year for the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child — the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.

One of those locations is Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert. Trinity has been serving as a collection and packing site for over 12 years and is excited to be a facilitator for this program again this season.

During National Collection Week, November 14-21, anyone can donate shoeboxes — filled with school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and fun toys, such as a doll or soccer ball — for Operation Christmas Child to deliver to children in need around the world. This year, people around the United States, including Van Wert residents, hope to contribute 9.5 million shoebox gifts toward the 2017 global goal of reaching 12 million children.

“The shoebox gifts donated throughout the country at these drop-off locations will shine a light of hope to children living in poverty overseas,” said Randy Riddle, director of Operation Christmas Child in the United States. “Anyone is welcome to pack a shoebox and help a child facing difficult circumstances to feel loved and not forgotten.”

“It’s exciting to see people everywhere coming together to fill the needs of these children,” said Linda Bostelman, Trinity Friends’ Samaritan’s Purse project director. “It’s exciting to see it happen and to be part of making it happen. Of making the Light shine. We welcome anyone who wants to help.”

More than 150,000 volunteers, including families, churches, and other groups, are linking arms across the country to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind. In 2017, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach 12 million children, with 9.5 million coming from the United States.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. The suggested per-shoebox donation is $9, which covers shipping costs only.

Trinity Friends Church is in the middle of its collection phase right now, which will run through November 5. During that period, Trinity will be taking donated items, along with monetary donations, to help with rising shipping costs.

Specific items needed for boxes being filled at Trinity Friends are washcloths, bar soap, children’s socks (any size), combs or brushes, shoe boxes, toothbrushes, toothbrush covers, rulers, solar calculators, scissors, jump ropes, coloring books, pens, crayon boxes, manual pencil sharpeners, small balls, and puzzles.

Donations may be dropped off at the church office any time during the week, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trinity Friends is located on the northeast side of Van Wert at 605 N Franklin St.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call Trinity Friends at 419.238.2788 or call 800.353.5949 or visit By going online to give the suggested donation of $9 per shoebox gift, participants can follow their box to discover where in the world it will be delivered. They can also pack a shoebox gift online and even upload a photo and note of encouragement.

POSTED: 10/16/17 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: Church