Nov 27 in OC: Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Staging, Ministry Center Grand Opening

Operation Christmas Child Commemorates 25th Anniversary, Opens Permanent West Coast Facility

Volunteers, California residents and project organizers are celebrating the grand opening of a permanent ministry center for Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization. Since 1996, California has offered a seasonal home to one of six Operation Christmas Child processing centers across the country. This project of Samaritan's Purse now has a permanent West Coast location where donated, gift-filled shoeboxes will be readied for their journey to the hands of children overseas.

Between now and Christmas, more than 10,000 volunteers are actively working in Orange County to prepare colorfully wrapped shoeboxes—filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys—for delivery to children who are suffering from war, disease, poverty and disaster. This year—in observance of its 25th anniversary—Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough gifts to reach 11 million children, with approximately 871,000 gifts being processed right here in California. With the help of more than 110,000 volunteers, more than 12.6 million shoebox gifts have come through the California Processing Center since it was established.

The new location will also allow Samaritan's Purse to expand and expedite its disaster relief efforts in North America by housing a Disaster Relief Unit tractor-trailer, as well as relief supplies geared primarily for wildfire recovery and cleanup, positioned for immediate deployment in the wake of disaster. Some 10,000 square feet of the facility will also house other support vehicles and a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association mobile ministry center. Samaritan's Purse has helped disaster victims in California on 10 separate occasions, mainly in the wake of wildfires, including those affected by recent fires in Paradise, California. 

The upcoming grand opening will reflect upon the millions of lives changed as a result of volunteer efforts through Operation Christmas Child and U.S. disaster relief.

WHEN:
Tuesday, Nov. 27 
10:30 a.m. PST

WHERE:
Samaritan's Purse West Coast Ministry Center
4200 Bonita Place
Fullerton, CA 92835

MEDIA COVERAGE OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Interviews:
    • Samaritan's Purse president and CEO Franklin Graham, who can talk about the ministry's efforts in North America and abroad
    • Samaritan's Purse vice president of North American Ministries Luther Harrison who can talk about U.S. disaster relief efforts
    • Shoebox gift recipient, who now works with Operation Christmas Child to make a difference in the lives of children in need—giving comes full circle
    • Teen and adult volunteers, who are serving to ensure some 11 million children in more than 100 countries have a Christmas gift this year
  • Visuals:
    • Hundreds of thousands of colorfully wrapped shoebox gifts bound for children around the world
    • Bustling activity resembling a Christmas workshop, as thousands of volunteers help receive and prepare shoebox gifts for overseas delivery

ON-SITE MEDIA CONTACT: Janna Dawson, 678.787.0536

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization, headed by Franklin Graham, that provides immediate, no-red-tape response to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Samaritan's Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. Since 1998, Samaritan’s Purse has also responded to 222 domestic disasters in 37 U.S. States, bringing aid to some 42,000 American families. In the coming years, Samaritan’s Purse is working to increase its U.S. capacity and strategically stage its resources so it can reach victims in an affected area within 24 hours of a disaster. The opening of the West Coast Ministry Center is a major step toward achieving that goal.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

MEDIA NOTE: For complete media materials including high-resolution downloadable photos, visit samaritanspurse.org/occnewsroom

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