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First Church of God collecting supplies for Operation Christmas Child

Published: August 14, 2016 12:00 AM

First Church of God serving as

Christmas Child Relay Center

As children prepare to return to the classroom, First Church of God members and volunteers are shifting their focus from their own back-to-school checklists to helping children around the world who have limited access to basic supplies necessary to attend school.

As an Operation Christmas Child Relay Center, First Church of God is marching in this year's Tallmadge Circle Fest Parade to remind the community to consider collecting school supplies for children in need when buying supplies for their own school-age children.

Christy Wahl, Relay Center Coordinator for First Church of God, is busy filling her shopping cart with notebooks, pencils and other school items to pack in shoeboxes alongside toys and hygiene items. Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, will deliver these gift-filled shoeboxes to children suffering from poverty, natural disaster, war, disease and famine.

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"At the end of summer, we often forget how fortunate we are to be able to attend school and have the supplies we need," said Christy Wahl. "The pens and paper we put in shoeboxes are more than just gifts for the children receiving them -- they are tangible reminders that God has not forgotten them and that He cares about the details of their lives. Helping children in need makes back-to-school shopping so much more rewarding."

How Tallmadge residents can join the effort

Pack a shoebox gift -- Fill shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. National Collection Week is Nov. 14 through 21, when around 4,500 drop-off locations will be open to receive shoebox gifts. By going online to give the suggested donation of $7 per shoebox gift, participants can follow their box to discover where in the world it will be delivered. They can also pack a shoebox gift online and even upload a photo and note of encouragement.

Apply to volunteer -- Year-round volunteer opportunities are available in Tallmadge. For more information, call 330-389-1238 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Spread the word -- Enlist families, friends and groups to take part in this life-changing project.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 330-389-1238 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

First Church of God, 464 Northeast Ave., is a non-denominational affiliated with the Church of God Ministries, Anderson, Ind. The church has served the Akron/Tallmadge area since 1886. For general information regarding First Church, call 330-633-0107 or visit First Church's website at: www.firstchurchtallmadge.com.

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