A Waterford church is inviting the public to experience the joy of giving later this month as they pack shoeboxes with items for the world’s most needy children.
The Operation Christmas Child community packing party will gather locals to help fill the boxes with school supplies, hygiene items and toys on Nov. 18 at First Southern Baptist Church of Waterford.
The goal is to fill more than 500 shoeboxes – part of what’s expected to be 10,000 shoebox gifts collected this year in Stanislaus County. The boxes will be sent by worldwide effort Operation Christmas Child to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine, according to a press release from the organization’s Stanislaus County Area Team.
“This event is a great opportunity to come together as a community and give back in such a simple and powerful way,” Heidi Partlow, Operation Christmas Child coordinator for Central California, said in the release.
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All are invited to join the packing party, which also will feature refreshments, a photo booth and videos of shoebox recipients from around the world.
Participants also can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to follow its destination. Another option is to go to samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s age and gender, then add a photo and personal note to their virtual shoebox.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories, according to the release.
The packing party will begin at 9 a.m. on Nov. 18 at First Southern Baptist Church of Waterford, 116 E St.
HANDEL’S MESSIAH REHEARSALS – 3 p.m. Sundays in November, Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, 517 Orange Ave., Ripon. The Ripon Oratorio Society invites all singers to rehearsals. 209-996-0468.
SHELLY BORT AND BAND – 6 p.m, Sunday, Nov. 5, College Avenue United Church of Christ, 1341 College Ave., Modesto. With message by Pastor Michael, “Investing in Love.” Free. 209-522-7244.
Classes & Support
MAKING SENSE OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD – 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, College Avenue United Church of Christ, 1341 College Ave., Modesto. Rev. Michael Schiefelbein explores scripture from the perspective of progressive Christianity. Free. 209-522-7244.
INTERFAITH HEALING CIRCLE – 9 a.m.-noon, Nov. 11, Nov. 18, Dec. 9, St. Paul's Episcopal Church 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto. Support group for parents/families of LGBTQ in processing their own experience. $60. 209-985-4070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM YUCK TO YUM — 10 a.m. Nov. 18; RSVP by Nov. 15, Becker Hall, Geneva Presbyterian Church, 1229 E. Fairmont Ave., Modesto. Class on vegetables and fruits. 209-524-6841.
ALPHA – 5:45-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Dec. 13, Modesto Covenant Church, 913 Floyd Ave. A 10-week course designed for people who want to explore the Christian faith or grow in their faith. 209-527-4110.
GRIEF SHARE – 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 11, Centenary Church, McHenry Avenue between Norwegian and Tokay avenues, Modesto. Support group offering help and encouragement to those who have lost a spouse, child, family member or friend. Free. 209-527-5441.
GRIEFSHARE – 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. through Nov. 19, Big Valley Grace. 13-week course. 209-577-1604.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES – 11:30 a.m. Sundays and 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Unity Church of Modesto, 2467 Veneman Ave. 209-578-5433.
COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY – 10 a.m. Sundays, Healing Word Christian Fellowship Church, 950 Oakdale Road, Modesto. 209-450-6612.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDIES – Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; call for times. Shelter Cove Church, 4242 Coffee Road, Modesto. 209-567-3200.
MOPS – 6 to 8 p.m. first and third Wednesdays, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 1600 Carver Road, Modesto. Trinity United Modesto Mothers of Preschoolers. 209-529-3228.
GRIEFSHARE – 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, Calvary Chapel, 4300 American Ave., Modesto. Seminar and support for those who have lost a loved one. Free.
NEW CREATION IN CHRIST – 7 p.m. Fridays, Calvary Chapel, 4300 American Ave., Modesto. Faith-based ministry for men who are struggling against addiction and/or life-dominating sin. 209-545-5530.
BIBLE STUDIES – Various times, Emanuel Lutheran Church, 324 College Ave., Modesto. Men’s and women’s classes and young adult bible study. 209-523-4531.
PIONEER CLUB – 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays, Centenary Church, McHenry Avenue between Norwegian and Tokay avenues, Modesto. Weekly program for preschool through 5th grade, combining Bible teaching with life skill activities. Family dinner at 5:30 p.m. 209-527-5411.
SPAGHETTI DINNER – Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, St. Jude's Catholic Church, 3824 Mitchell Road, Ceres. Games and prizes. Take-out available. $8 adults, $4 ages 5-12. 209-996-5247.
INDOOR LABYRINTH – Noon-6 p.m. Nov. 13-16, Geneva Presbyterian Church, 1229 E. Fairmont Ave., Modesto. Thanksgiving prayer walks. 209-524-6841.
Holiday Craft Fairs
HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR – Nov. 9-11: Handcrafted items include quilts, holiday items, aprons, homemade jams, jellies, candy and more. Lunch available to buy, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Proceeds to go to local charities. Nov. 9-10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Nov. 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Hall, 640 Minaret Ave., Turlock. 209-667-7712.
HOLY FAMILY HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE – 5 p.m. Nov. 9; xxx Nov. 10-11, Holy Family Church, 4212 Dale Road. Gift and holiday decor. 209-614-4121.
KRIS KRINGLE MARKET – Nov. 11: Holiday crafts, goods and baked items. Santa available for pictures with kids. Lunch available. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saron Lutheran Church, 1742 North St., Escalon.
HOLIDAY BAZAAR – Nov. 11: Vendors with gifts, fashion, décor, crafts and more. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Victory Assembly of God, Family Life Center, 1960 E Hatch Road, Ceres. 209-658-3171.
HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE – Nov. 11: Handcrafted and other items for sale; light lunch available for purchase. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Prescott Church, 3000 Prescott Road, Modesto. 209-529-7200.
ST. MARY’S YOUNG LADIES INSTITUTE CRAFT FAIR – Nov. 11-12: More than 57 booths with handmade items, toys, quilts, jewelry, leather goods, home decor, commercial photos with Santa, more. Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Center, 55 Oak St., Oakdale. 209-985-1486.
VALLEY’S FINEST CRAFT AND GOODS FAIR – Nov. 18: Dozens of hand-made or re-purposed crafts. Breakfast and lunch, as well as baked items for purchase. Benefits American Heritage Girls and Trail Life Boys scouting programs. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church’s Father O’Hare Hall, 1813 Oakdale Road, Modesto. 209-551-5973 or www.stjmod.com.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS BOUTIQUE – Nov. 18: Holiday arts and crafts, baked goods, jewelry, antiques, kids corner and more. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 16th and I streets, Modesto. 209-522-9046.
HOLIDAY CRAFT SALE – Nov. 18-19: Proceeds benefit needy families through St. Vincent de Paul. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon Sunday. St. Patrick’s Church Parish Hall, 19399 E. Highway 120, Ripon. 209-838-2133.
Christmas Boutique – 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 2, Almond Valley Christian Reformed Church, 333 S. Wilma, Ripon. Hand-made items and baked goods with brunch and door prizes. Funds support Bethany’s House, Modesto nonprofit maternity home providing care for women in need.
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS FAIRE AND BOUTIQUE – Dec. 9: Vendors and barbecue for eat-in or take-out. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Modesto Free Methodist Church, 1520 Rose Avenue.
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