Churches and community leaders across Kern County are encouraging people to participate in Operation Christmas Child, by filling up shoe boxes with toys, schools supplies and everyday essentials for children in need around the world.
Jennifer Sharrer, the Operation Christmas Child area coordinator for all of Kern County, said that for many children this is the first gift they've ever received. Sharrer continued to share a story from last year, where a girl in Guatemala was so excited to receive her shoe box which had her first very own toothbrush. In Guatemala, the little girl has to share a toothbrush with all of the girls in the orphanage.
These boxes are sent all around the world to children in need like the little girl in Guatemala.
There are seven pick up and drop-off locations around Kern County and if you are interested in participating, you can enter your zip code into this website to find the closest location to you and the hours.
Along with packing shoe boxes, coordinators at the main drop off location at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church (12300 Reina Road Bakersfield, CA 93312) are looking for volunteers who can help with packing the shoe boxes onto the trucks for delivery. Last year, Operation Christmas Child in Kern County collected close to 15,000 shoe boxes and this year they are hoping to collect 17,000 shoe boxes. National collection week starts on Monday, November 12th to the last day of drop-off on November 19th.
For more information on what to pack and the steps that follow visit: Samaritan's Purse website.