Operation Christmas Child goal is 4,000 shoeboxes

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Operation Christmas Child volunteer Nanea Abreu, center, holds a filled shoebox Monday as she leads a team, including, from left Leslie Dietz, Christina Ensman, Roberta Zarbaugh, Greg Honnolo and Katie Taylor on the first day of a week-long collection period at the Breath of Life Church in the Rice Shopping Center in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — There was a caravan of cars dropping off gift-laden shoeboxes Monday at the Breath of Life Church set up for a drive-thru collection in the Rice Shopping Center parking lot.

“This is a lot more than seven,” said Christina Ensman, one of the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child volunteers accepting the shoebox contributions on the first day of a week-long collection period. “That’s how much we had last year. With an hour to go in collecting, we already have 737 boxes because of that caravan.”

Roberta Zarbaugh, another Samaritan’s Purse volunteer, said the Kaua‘i collection is part of the organization’s week-long collection period where all groups participating in the shoebox program are collecting during the same period that will end Monday afternoon.

“This is the first day,” Zarbaugh said. “Activity usually picks up toward the end, the weekend, Sunday and Monday. We passed out about 4,170 shoeboxes, and we’re praying that each will be filled and brought back. Our Kaua‘i goal is 4,000 boxes that will go, this year, to the thousand islands in the Pacific.”

Zarbaugh added that for those unfamiliar with Samaritan’s Purse, it is an organization led by Franklin Graham. It sent people and supplies to Kaua‘i to help with recovery efforts following the heavy rains that flooded the island’s North Shore a few years ago.

“We still have boxes if you desire to be a blessing to a child in need of good news and great joy,” Zarbaugh said. “We’ll be here every afternoon through Nov. 23. Additional sites, times and locations can be found at samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/drop-off-locations/.”

Ensman said O‘ahu got off to a great start on opening day.

“They already filled one container with 7,414 boxes and had to order another container,” she said.

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