Operation Christmas Child: Local communities show support with donations for needy children 

Published 8:06 am Tuesday, November 14, 2017

National collection week for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes is already stacking up to be a great success in this area. According to Kathy Kendrick, Heart of Kentucky area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, they are expecting to collect about 20,000 shoeboxes. They are expecting 8,000 of those to come from Boyle County residents.

As of Monday morning, Junction City First Baptist Church — one of the local collection sites — had already stacked more than 1,000 boxes in the shape of a Christmas Tree in their sanctuary.

According to OCC Heart of Kentucky’s Facebook page, “Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse that allows regular people like us to actively demonstrate God’s love to needy children all around the world through the packing of simple shoebox gifts.”

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A news release said these boxes are filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys to be sent to children in who are affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. Kendrick said the shoeboxes that are donated throughout the U.S. will be delivered to children in more than 100 countries.

The Heart of Kentucky OCC involves residents and churches from Boyle, Mercer, Lincoln, Garrard, Marion and Washington counties. 

Ella Johnson, follwed by Tommy McGirr, carries Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes a table set up at Junction City First Baptist Church.

Monday was the first day for local churches to drop off their boxes at two collection sites — Centenary United Methodist Church and Junction City First Baptist Church, which is also the hub for the six area counties.

Next week, the thousands of collected boxes will be packed into larger shipping boxes and taken by semi-trucks to a processing center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kendrick said she has been the area coordinator for 10 years.

“This is my heart job,” she said, adding that her husband says her job in Lexington, “is my paying job.”

Diane Smith has helped to collect OCC boxes for several years.

“I love doing this,” she said. “I really love it.”


Instructions on how to pack an Operation Christmas Child box are available from Samaritan’s Purse online at bit.ly/KY-OCC2017. Boyle County collection sites and times are as follows:

Leon Smith Sr., of Danville, carries Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes a table set up at Junction City First Baptist Church.

Centenary United Methodist Church, 1441 Perryville Road

• 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Nov. 14

• 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15

• 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16

• 4-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18

• 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19

• 8:30-10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20


• Junction City First Baptist Church, 3860 U.S. 127 South

• 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 

• 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15

• 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16

• 10 a.m.-noon Friday, Nov. 17

• 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 18

• noon-8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19

• 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20