Operation Christmas Child starts Saturday

Two children in Ecuador share a peek inside each other’s boxes from Operation Christmas Child. (Courtesy)

Two children in Ecuador share a peek inside each other’s boxes from Operation Christmas Child. (Courtesy)

KINGMAN - Operation Christmas Child Mohave County is starting its annual shoebox campaign this Saturday and invites the community to help prepare gifts for needy children around the world.

The group is part of the national Operation Christmas Child campaign, which is hosted by the evangelical Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse.

The campaign focuses on packing shoeboxes with simple gifts, set to be handed out to kids in over 130 countries.

A typical shoebox can include items such as stuffed animals, yo-yos, pens and pencils, crayons, small picture books and jump ropes.

"A lot of them are hygiene items. Soap, toothbrushes. Sometimes socks or flip flops or shoes. Little first aid kits. Older boys get tools," said Nancy Tybroski, Operation Christmas Child spokesperson in Mohave County

The county will hold a shoebox packing party at the College Park Baptist Church, 1990 Jagerson St., at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"It's a great family project. Everybody is welcome to come. You don't have to stay all day. People come and go as they please. They're more than welcome to do that," said Tybroski.

Starting Monday, people who wish to submit a shoebox of their own can bring it to 1st Southern Baptist Church, 3120 Hualapai Mountain Road, through Nov. 23. From there, the group will package the shoeboxes together and send them to processing centers based elsewhere in the United States.

Last year, the group gathered 4,000 boxes in Mohave County. This year, they're aiming for over 4,200.

For more information, or if you wish to help process the shoeboxes, contact Pat Tardiff at (928) 897-9324.