Townsend kids, families and volunteers will host a packing party Oct. 26 for Operation Christmas Child, a project that fills shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas.

The packing party will be at 9 a.m. at Townsend Free Will Baptist Church; the church is located at 4519 South DuPont Parkway in Townsend.

At the packing party, participants will pack more than 5,000 boxes towards the excepted 18,000 shoebox gifts to be collected from Central Delmar residents this year. Lunch and supplies will be provided. Donations for shipping costs are welcome.

During National Collection Week, Nov. 18–25, shoebox gifts can be dropped off at Townsend Free Will Baptist Church or 11 other area locations. These collection centers are the first stop on a journey around the world for thousands of gifts packed by local residents. The boxes are then processed, prepared and delivered to hurting children overseas.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse headed by Franklin Graham, has collected more than 100 million shoebox gifts since 1993. Through simple gifts and a message of hope, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2013, with 18,000 donated from the Central Delmar area.

For more information, email Kathe Wagner, Central Delmar Area Coordinator, at or visit