The YMCA of Middle Tennessee is working to “throw our arms around the world at Christmas time” and will again partner with Samaritan’s Purse to collect gift-filled shoeboxes for children worldwide as part of the annual outreach effort Operation Christmas Child . The YMCA is joining in the local efforts of Operation Christmas Child to collect shoeboxes at twelve of its Middle Tennessee locations and has a goal of 2,500 shoeboxes. Anyone wishing to fill a shoebox for a child in need may pick up an empty box and list of recommended supplies at any participating YMCA in Middle Tennessee. Simply return it with your gifts by the November 16 deadline.

Follow these easy steps to participate:

  • Start with an average-sized cardboard or plastic shoebox (or pick a box up at a participating YMCA location). If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately.
  • Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.
  • Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal. Then add other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. Samaritan’s Purse also has suggestions on what and what not to include in your shoebox.
  • Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and photo.
  • Take your shoebox gift to the Y by November 16.
  • If you choose, you can donate $7 online at Follow Your Box and receive a tracking label to discover the destination of your shoebox gift.


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