The holidays are fast approaching, and thanks to the return of Operation Christmas Child, locals have the chance to help give Polk kids a December 25 to remember.
Each year, the organization recruits volunteers who give away shoe boxes filled with gifts such as toys, school supplies, and other needed items.
Those looking to donate their own boxes are welcome to do so, and the group has prepared two different drop off locations inside the county.
Donations can be made during National Collection Week, November 18 through Nov. 25, by visiting either Pine Bower Baptist Church at 100 Pine Bower Rd, Cedartown or Bellview Baptist Church at 2330 N. Bellview Rd, Rockmart during the set hours.
Those closer to Pine Bower Baptist can visit from 9 through 11 a.m. on Nov. 18, 5 through 7 p.m. on Nov. 19, 10 a.m. through 12 p.m. on Nov. 20, 4 through 6 p.m. on Nov. 21, 11 am. through 1 p.m. on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, 1:30 p.m. through 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 24, and 8:30 through 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 25.
Those closer to Bellview Baptist can visit from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. on Nov. 18, 5 through 7 p.m. on Nov. 19, 10 a.m. through 12 p.m. on Nov. 20, 5 through 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, 10 a.m. through 12 p.m. on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, 3 through 5 p.m. on Nov. 24, and 9 through 11 a.m. on Nov. 25.
The group collected 3,770 shoe boxes in Polk last year, so their 2019 goal for the county is 4,150 boxes. More information about gift ideas, drop off locations outside of Polk, and the organization itself can be found by visiting https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/.
Operation Christmas Child began in 1993 and has since delivered 146 million shoe boxes to more than 160 countries and territories.
Shoe box gifts are collected in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Spain, New Zealand and Japan. Nearly 500,000 volunteers worldwide are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoe box gifts. It is Samaritan's Purse's goal to deliver another 12 million in 2017 alone.