NORTH CANTON Members of the Trinity Brethren Church in North Canton take the adage "it’s better to give than receive" to heart, especially during the holiday season. They give their time and energy to help others by giving shoeboxes filled with gifts for children in need around the world.
They are one several collection sites for Operation Christmas Child organized by the Samaritan’s Purse organization. Hundreds of Stark Countians fill empty shoeboxes with gifts of toys, school supplies and hygiene products. During the week of Nov. 14-21, those filling the boxes dropped them off at one of six collection sites, including Trinity Brethren.
Church member Steve Lain, along with Bob Workinger and other members, gave much of their weekend on Nov. 19 and 20 to help collect boxes at Chick-fil-A and at the church.
"This is our 12th year collecting shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse, we collect about 2,000 boxes every year," Lain said. "People are asked to fill the boxes with toys such as stuffed animals, school supplies, toothbrushes and other items needed by children around the world. Different organizations and businesses such as Chick-fil-A hand out the empty boxes before collection week and then people generously fill the boxes and drop them off during collection week."
Lain said he believes there are 11 million filled shoeboxes distributed each year. He said Trinity members do a pickup at Chick-fil-A and at the North Canton church. The filled shoeboxes will be delivered to children who are living in the midst of poverty, war, disease or natural disaster.
"People come from all over the county to drop boxes," Lain said. "There are some religious organizations and schools, local businesses and individuals drive up to our church and we help unload into a truck. The day after the last collection day, we’ll drive the truck to Doylestown to the regional center for further distribution."
Volunteer media coordinator with the northeast Ohio team of Operation Christmas Child Eileen Koborie wrote in a published statement, "This year, Canton area residents hope to contribute more than 64,500 shoebox gifts toward the global goal of reaching 12 million children."