Shoe box collection underway

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Operation Christmas Child provides shoe boxes filled with items for children all around the world.

Boxes are being shipped across the world for the annual shoe box collection from Samaritan's Purse.

"They're meant to let kids around the world who have nothing know that someone loves them," says regional director David Warren.

Bristol residents Faith and Richard Woelkers say they've been donating boxes for several years, "I go shopping all through the whole year and then put everything together and then about a month before we're ready to go we start boxing them together."

Items like pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, hygiene items are needed.

There are some items that can't be included like liquids, candy that could melt, war-related items, money and anything that could break in shipping.

"Every box is looked through as it goes to its processing center, whether it's Boone or Atlanta or where ever it may be, each box is looked at," adds Warren.

When you're dropping off donations it's a good reminder you can use clear plastic boxes. They are very popular with the children. You can also track the box and follow it until it reaches children in need.

The Woelkers have decided to track their boxes. You can pay for the tracker and print it online.

It can take several months for them to arrive at their destination, but they say the wait is worth it, "It helps to give toys to children in countries that wouldn't have them and it also helps to spread the gospel. That's the main reason we do it."

There is still time to donate boxes. They're being collected in the Tri-Cities through Monday.

Two collection sites we visited are Bristol Motor Speedway and Liberty Baptist Church.

You can learn more at


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