LaPlace residents collect gifts for world’s largest Christmas project

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

LA PLACE — Christmas is arriving early in LaPlace, as First Baptist Church prepares to serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child. Soon, with the help of local volunteers, the site will be brimming with festively wrapped shoeboxes full of gifts. 

Through Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project, LaPlace residents are helping send shoe box gifts this year to more than 8 million children in 100 countries suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty. From LaPlace, the shoe box gifts will be sorted and sent using whatever means necessary — sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats, camels, even dog sleds — to reach suffering children around the world.

Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to “follow your box” to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need. To register shoebox gifts and find out what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at

Local collection site:

First Baptist Church

120 Ormond Boulevard

La Place, LA  70068

985 652-6219

Nov. 15-19 – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Nov. 20 – 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Nov. 21 – 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Nov. 22 – 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Last year, LaPlace contributed more than 550 shoeboxes to join the Operation Christmas Child effort. This year, organizers hope to collect over 700 gift-filled shoeboxes from families, kids, churches, schools and civic organizations in the area.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 77 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in some 130 countries.

What you can do to get involved:

• Prepare — Enlist families, churches, scout troops, community groups and businesses to take part in creating shoe box gifts for needy children worldwide.

• Pack — Fill shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, hard candy and a letter of encouragement. Step-by-step shoebox packing instructions are available at

• Process — Sign up to join Operation Christmas Child volunteers at the collection site in LaPlace as part of the effort to prepare millions of shoebox gifts for delivery to underprivileged kids on six continents.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 1-800-353-5949 or visit National Collection Week is Nov. 15-22.