Local churches gathering gifts for children in need - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Local churches gathering gifts for children in need

(Toledo News Now) -

It's been a tradition for many around the country for 20 years now. Collections for the annual Operation: Christmas Child are underway.

Shoeboxes filled with numerous items for little boys and girls are packed to be shipped to North Carolina each year. From there, they are distributed around the world to children in poor, disaster-stricken or war-torn countries as part of the annual Samaritan's Purse Operation: Christmas Child.

Two local churches – Pilgrim Church and Holland Free Methodist Church - are collecting donations this week. The shoeboxes can be filled with toys, coloring books, hygiene items and more.

In just three days, 1,200 boxes have been collected at Pilgrim Church alone, but they are hoping to collect more. They say chances are, these will be the only gifts many children around the world will receive this year.

"It is sometimes the very first Christmas present they have ever gotten," said Pat Bollinger, drop site director for the project. "It gives the children hope and it gives them knowledge that somebody out there in the world that isn't within their own country or their own town loves them."

The churches will be collecting items through Nov. 25.

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Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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