New Covenant Fellowship church in Hawley is hosting a drop-off center for Operation Christmas Child “shoe boxes” for the third consecutive year.

New Covenant Fellowship church in Hawley is hosting a drop-off center for Operation Christmas Child “shoe boxes” for the third consecutive year.

A ministry of Samaritan's Purse, founded by Franklin Graham, Operation Christmas Child each year provides multiple thousands of shoe boxes loaded with donated toys, hygiene items, school supplies and the like, to needy children around the world.

With the idea of bringing a package of hope and message of the love of God, New Covenant Fellowship volunteers are again gathering supplies to prepare to load boxes and ship to Samaritan's Purse.

Churches and other organizations as well as individuals wishing to contribute boxes of suggested items are welcome to participate.

Marianne Korman, who coordinates the ministry at the local church, said that this year they have a goal to fill 500 or more shoe boxes. Asking for donation of items, she suggested making it a family project or an organization project.

“God will bless. An act of love can certainly change a life and that is what one box can do,” Korman said. “With it comes the opportunity to share the good news and saving grace of Jesus Christ and also because someone like you and me took the time and effort to let these children know that they have not been forgotten, that someone on the other side of the world truly cares about them.”

Suggested toys include:

• Dolls, little cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls and toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries).

• Crayons, notepads, pens or pencils and other school supplies; hygiene items such as toothbrushes, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb or wash cloth; and other items such as t-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches and flashlights with extra batteries are suggested items.

Samaritan's Purse includes a list of what not to include:

• Don't give used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy soldiers, guns or knives; chocolate or food, out of date candy, liquids or lotions, medications, vitamins, breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers or aerosol cans.

An average sized shoe box or plastic container may be used. Place a rubber band around each closed box.

Please indicate if the box is meant for a boy or a girl and indicate the child's age category, 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Labels for this purpose can be found online.

A $7 donation is requested with each box to help cover shipping overseas. The check should be made out to Samaritan's Purse.

If one wishes, a note may be put in the shoe box to the child, as well as photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may write back.

Individual shoe boxes stuffed with donations may be brought to the church; call to make arrangements or come during the Collection Week noted below.

Bags of donated items are also welcome, which can then be sorted and stuffed into boxes by volunteers at the church.

Anyone is welcome to join their “stuffing party” with refreshments, planned for Saturday, November 16 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the church. Collected items will be stuffed into boxes according to “boy” or “girl.”

Collection Week is November 18-25. Other churches or others making a donation of multiple, stuffed shoe boxes should come to the church that week, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. On Monday, November 25, the final day, the hours are 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

New Covenant Fellowship is located at 55 Columbus Avenue, across from the Hawley Fire Hall. For more information, contact Korman at (570) 470-3690 or leave a message at the church at (570) 226-2507.