October 08, 2014

For the 18th year in a row, the YMCA of Central Florida has joined forces with the Samaritan’s Purse in support of Operation Christmas Child, an annual gift-filled shoe box drive for children in need.

OCC logoOperation Christmas Child is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, collecting and delivering more than 113 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than 130 countries. Last year alone, the Y facilitated the collection of more than 25,000 gift-filled shoe boxes. In addition to the treats, small toys and hygiene items, many of the boxes contained personal messages of faith and encouragement for those who sent them.

To continue to help these children in need, we need the community’s support. Now through Nov. 23, individuals, families, churches and groups are invited to drop off a gift-filled shoe box at one of the Y’s 25 locations in Central Florida. Shoeboxes can include small toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. Empty shoe boxes are also available at each Y location and can be returned by November 23.

On October 17 at 1 p.m., the Operation Christmas Child collection drive will officially be kicked off with the support of Mayor Buddy Dyer during a special event at City Hall .

To  get involved or to donate a gift-filled shoe box, please visit a local YMCA in your area. For a full listing of YMCA locations, please visit www.ymcacentralflorida.com or call 407-896-9220.