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This month, two Mooresville churches, Berea Baptist and Lighthouse Church, will be among 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoe boxes for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 18-25.

Iredell County families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoe boxes into fun gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children in need. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

This year, area residents hope to collect more than 3,000 gifts to contribute to the 2019 global goal of reaching 11 million children.

“This project is very special to me and my family. It is a simple way to make a profound impact on children around the world. I love seeing the local community rally together for a global impact,” said Mooresville volunteer Pastor Ken Chivers, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for 19 years. “We see all ages getting involved — and more and more every year.”

Statesville locations and times are:

Concord Presbyterian Church, 3867 Taylorsville Highway, Statesville. Nov. 18, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Nov. 19-20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-7 p.m.; Nov. 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to noon; Nov. 24, 1-4 p.m.; and Nov. 25, 9-11 a.m.

Fairview Baptist Church, 349 Turnersburg Highway, Statesville. Nov. 18-22, 4-7 p.m.; Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 24, 3-7 p.m.; and Nov. 25, 9 a.m. to noon.

Forest Park Presbyterian Church, 1026 Davie Ave., Statesville. Nov. 18-22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 24-25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mooresville locations and times are:

Berea Baptist Church, 1015 River Highway, Mooresville. Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Nov. 19, 3-6 p.m. Nov. 20, 2-5 p.m., Nov. 21, 3-6 p.m.; Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to noon; Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to noon; Nov. 24, 1-3 p.m. and Nov. 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lighthouse Church, 246 Blume Road, Mooresville. Nov. 18, 4-7 p.m.; Nov. 19, 4-6 p.m.; Nov. 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Nov. 21, 4-7 p.m., Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to noon; Nov. 24, 1-4 p.m. and Nov. 25, 10 a.m. to noon.

Additional area drop-off locations and their times include:

Hopewell Baptist Church, 18841 Davidson Concord Road, Davidson. Nov. 18-19, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 24, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; and Nov. 25, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fallstown Baptist Church, 242 State Park Road, Troutman. Nov. 18-19, 4-6 p.m.; Nov. 20, 1-3 p.m., Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to noon; Nov 22, 2-7 p.m.; Nov. 23, 2-4 p.m., Nov. 24, 1-4 p.m., and Nov. 25, 8-10 a.m.

Central Baptist Church, 1810 Moose Road, Kannapolis. Nov. 18, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Nov. 19-24, 9 a.m. to noon; Nov. 24, 1-5 p.m.; and Nov. 25, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Poplar Grove Baptist Church, 3479 Poplar Tent Road, Concord. Nov. 18-22, 5-8 p.m.; Nov. 23, 9-11 a.m.; Nov. 24, 2-5 p.m.; and Nov. 25, 8-10 a.m.

Denver Baptist Church, 3549 N. N.C. 16, Denver. Nov. 18, 1-5 p.m.; Nov. 19-22, 2-5 p.m.; Nov. 23, 8 a.m. to noon; Nov. 24, 2-5 p.m.; and Nov. 25, 8-11 a.m.

For additional information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 704-583-1463 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoe-box 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 shoe box by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

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 168 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

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