As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Wayne County families are expressing their gratitude by giving back. 

     Residents are filling shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

     During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week November 12 – 19, local residents will collect shoebox gifts at two drop-off locations in Wayne County. The Samaritan’s Purse project, partnering with churches worldwide, will deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

     Participating in this year's project are Green River Baptist Church of Waynesboro and First Baptist Church of Clifton. Their drop-off information is as follows:

Green River Baptist Church, 1061 Collinwood Highway, Waynesboro, TN 38485:

Monday, Nov. 12: 4 - 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 4 - 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 14: 4 - 6 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 15: 4 - 6 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 16: 4 - 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17: 12 - 2 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 18: 12 - 5 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 19: 6 - 8 a.m.

First Baptist Church Clifton, 317 Church Street, Clifton, TN 38425:

Monday, Nov. 12: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 13: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 14: 4 - 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 15: 4 - 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 16: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17: 12 - 2 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 18: 12 - 3 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 19: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

     Wayne County residents are not alone in their effort to help children around the world. More than 150,000 U.S. volunteers including families, churches, and other groups are joining forces to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind. In 2018, Samaritan’s Purse hopes to collect enough Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to reach 11 million children.

     For more information on how to participate, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

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