Each year at this time, shoe boxes filled with goods for less fortunate children are collected and distributed throughout the world through the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child.
Last year alone, 2,575 boxes were collected in Lycoming County, according to county coordinator Betty Lou Wheeland, and this year the goal is 3,000. Wheeland also said that a year ago 21,180 boxes were collected in central Pennsylvania, 723,327 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and 6,051,799 across the country.
As in years past, the main Lycoming County relay site is at Pine Street United Methodist Church, 441 Pine St., where donations may be taken from Monday, Nov. 12, through Sunday, Nov. 18. Times when donations will be accepted are: Monday, noon-4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, noon-4:30, p.m.; Wednesday, noon-5 p.m.; Thursday, noon-5 p.m.; Friday, noon-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
A second relay site in the county is at St. John Lutheran Church, 229 S. Broad St. in Jersey Shore, where boxes will be received Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from noon-3 p.m.
In Clinton County, the drop-off site is The House of the Lord Fellowship Church, 201 W. Main St. in Lock Haven, use the parking lot door entrance. The campaign there runs Monday through Nov. 19.
Drop-off days and hours are: Monday, 10 a.m.-noon; Tuesday, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 18, 1-5 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 19, 8-9 a.m., according to county coordinator. Sarah Snyder.
Since 1993, more than 94 million shoe boxes have been distributed to children around the globe in more than 130 countries.
The project involves the filling a regular-size shoe box (or plastic container) with new small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, other gifts, and an optional personal note or picture. Donors are asked not to seal boxes, and they are asked to enclose $7 for shipping costs. Also, the shipping fee can be paid online with the EZGive option to out find out which country their box is sent to by just printing and attaching a tracking label to the outside lid of the box; though just don't tape over the bar code so it can be scanned properly.