The Marshfield First Baptist Church will serve as the drop-off location for Operation Christmas Child this year.
In order to keep the community and volunteers safe, there will be curbside shoebox drop-off at the church. Individuals and churches can bring their shoeboxes to Marshfield First Baptist Church during National Collection Week on Nov. 16-23.
"Volunteers outside the building will have drivers fill out a form when they arrive," said Calton. "They will let us know who they are, if they are just an individual or with a church and how many boxes they have brought with them. We have to count the boxes just to make sure our numbers match with theirs."
So far, Barbara Calton, coordinator of Operation Christmas Child at Marshfield First Baptist, said they have collected 353 boxes.
“Our goal was 400 for this year,” said Calton. “Every year, we change the goal and try to up it every year. Last year, we received 467 boxes. Because of COVID-19, we decided to bring it down to 400. We will see how far we will get."
The earliest they start Operation Christmas Child program is the first of March, according to Calton. She said, "We discuss putting out the display of shoeboxes the first of September is when the public is informed of it. This way, it's kept on people's minds, but we don't want to do it too early.”
This last month, on Wednesday nights, the GA and RA boys and girls groups at Marshfield First Baptist Church, the children's ministry groups, have helped pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. The children will go around the room and put items into the shoeboxes.
"We have necessity items that I have them include in every box, like toothbrushes, soap, washcloths and combs," said Calton. "Then the kids pick out a fun item to put in the box, like a bag of marbles, coloring books and crayons. They're mindful when loading their boxes what a girl or boy might like, especially with the age of the individual they selected. For 2-to-4-year-olds, they probably shouldn't have a bag full of marbles, but they might like a foam ball or a picture book."
Luke McDonald, one of the students who helped fill shoeboxes in the RA group, said, "It's a lot of fun. I like seeing how many items I can pack in a box."
Calton said they have been doing Operation Christmas Child for two years now. Other churches have participated in the program, including Marshfield Christian Church, Timber Ridge Baptist Church, High Prairie Baptist Church, Born Again Church, Mission Home, Marshfield Church of the Nazarene, Faith Southern Baptist Church, Son-Rise Christian Church and Conway First Baptist Church.
"Operation Christmas Child has been a big program at many of our churches in the area," said Calton. "When we meet up as a district area, I contact other churches to see how many boxes they need for Operation Christmas Child. We all enjoy serving people and sharing the hope of Jesus Christ to children all over the world."
National Collection Week is Nov. 16-23. The following includes a schedule for drop-off times and dates at Marshfield First Baptist Church:
Monday, Nov. 16 -- 10 a.m. to noon
Tuesday, Nov. 17 -- 10 a.m. to noon
Wednesday, Nov. 18 -- 10 a.m. to noon
Thursday, Nov. 19 -- 10 a.m. to noon
Friday, Nov. 20 -- 10 a.m. to noon
Saturday, Nov. 21 -- 9-11 a.m.
Sunday, Nov. 22 -- Noon to 2 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 23 -- 8-10 a.m.