Christmas is arriving early all over Middlebury, as a local church prepares to serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child. Soon, with the help of Middlebury volunteers, the sites will be brimming with festively wrapped shoe boxes full of gifts.
Through Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project, Middlebury residents are packing shoe box gifts for children in more than 100 countries suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty.
From Middlebury, 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 shoe box gifts and find out what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org.
Addison County collection site and drop-off times:
Valley Bible Church, 322 East Main St., Middlebury
Monday 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wednesday 6-8 p.m.
Thursday 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m., 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.