During the week of Nov. 12-19, community members filled shoeboxes with school supplies, toys and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

During the week of Nov. 12-19, community members filled shoeboxes with school supplies, toys and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

Eastside churches and schools participate in global Christmas project

National Collection Week for operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts were collected Nov. 12-19.

During the week of Nov. 12-19, community members filled shoeboxes with school supplies, toys and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world. Shoebox packers had the opportunity to fill as many boxes as they wanted, for both boys and girls. Every third week in November, shoebox packers join The Samaritan’s Purse in Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection week.

The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with churches worldwide to deliver these gifts to children around the world who’ve been affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For some children, the shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. The goal for the Eastside area is to collect 11,000 shoeboxes.

Eastside Christian School (ECS) in Bellevue has been a drop-off location for seven years. Operation drop-off center leader Paige Benton has volunteered for five of those years. She serves in behalf of ECS and Christmas Operation Child. Benton’s role is to coordinate and train volunteers, and make sure they are accurate with the number of boxes being brought in. ECS collected around 1,500 shoeboxes.

“[The] shoeboxes are a tangible way to show Jesus’s love. What I love about Operation Christmas Child is that it’s a two-fold mission,” said Benton. “Children around the world receive these boxes and hear someone packed a box of gifts for them. The other part of the mission is that there are church leaders who share with them about Jesus Christ.”

At Calvary Chapel Eastside, Melissa Saunders has volunteered for four years and filled shoeboxes herself for more than 10 years. Saunders became a drop-off center team leader two years ago. Saunders said Calvary Chapel had between 20-25 volunteers at their location. She shared they received 400 shoeboxes in one day. As of Nov. 16, they received 675 shoeboxes.

Operation Christmas Child would not be possible without the volunteers at each location, who help pack thousands of shoeboxes. According to Benton, each step is important. Once the shoeboxes are packed in large packing boxes, they are shipped to the Woodinville collection center where they are hauled on to semi trailers who drive them out to the Southern California processing center. From there, the boxes are shipped worldwide.

Operation Christmas Child had two drop-off locations in Bellevue, one in Woodinville, one in Bothell and one in Sammamish.

To learn more about Samaritan’s Purse International Relief’s Operation Christmas Child, visit their website, www.samaritanspurse.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Operation drop-off center leader at ECS, Paige Benton, prays over boxes with family who brought in seven shoeboxes on Nov. 15. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

Operation drop-off center leader at ECS, Paige Benton, prays over boxes with family who brought in seven shoeboxes on Nov. 15. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

The Eastside’s goal was to collect 11,000 shoeboxes between all of their drop-off locations in Bellevue, Woodinville, Bothell and Sammamish. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

The Eastside’s goal was to collect 11,000 shoeboxes between all of their drop-off locations in Bellevue, Woodinville, Bothell and Sammamish. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

Volunteers at Calvary Chapel Eastside organizing 400 shoeboxes that were dropped off in one day. Courtesy of Melissa Saunders.

Volunteers at Calvary Chapel Eastside organizing 400 shoeboxes that were dropped off in one day. Courtesy of Melissa Saunders.

More in News

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Bellevue City Hall. Photo courtesy city of Bellevue
Open seat on East Bellevue Community Council

Applications are due by Friday, July 24

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

Free masks at the Bellevue Salvation Army. Courtesy photo
Free mask pickup for Bellevue residents

New dates and times for mask distribution this week

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Most Read