Herschend Family Entertainment Takes Aim at Record-setting 500,000 Gift-filled Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

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Nov. 17-24 national gift-donation program will be energized by Herschend attraction employees and their communities to brighten holidays for children in need

For 2014, we are challenging the communities we serve to help achieve a record 500,000 shoeboxes.

Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) properties across America, along with employees of the national themed attractions corporation and the communities they serve, are joining forces November 17-24 with Operation Christmas Child to collect half a million shoeboxes loaded with gifts for underprivileged children across the world.

HFE’s Shoebox Challenge, now in its fifth consecutive year, provides incentives for communities where Herschend Family Entertainment properties are located to donate shoeboxes packed with Christmas gifts. Annually, Operation Christmas Child provides shoeboxes filled with gifts to more than 10 million children, hand-delivered in more than 100 countries. Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind and is a project of Samaritan’s Purse.

To encourage community support for Operation Christmas Child, HFE properties are offering complimentary park tickets for the 2015 season to churches across the country. Churches participating in the challenge can earn additional free tickets by donating incrementally more shoebox gifts.

“For 2014, we are challenging the communities we serve to help achieve a record 500,000 shoeboxes,” said Joel Manby, HFE President and CEO. “Our Shoebox Challenge has grown exponentially in the past four years. We anticipate more than 2,000 churches will be involved in our program. The shoeboxes they fill will play a significant role in brightening the lives of millions of children, many of whom have never before received any kind of present. These shoeboxes are, indeed, something special.”

November 17-24 is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. In 2013, HFE properties and the communities they serve generated more than 300,000 shoeboxes.

Packing a shoebox is simple. Fill shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, candy and a letter of encouragement. Then drop off the box at one of the 4,000 collection sites. Step-by-step shoebox packing instructions are available at http://www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

About Herschend Family Entertainment
Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) is the largest family-owned themed attractions corporation in the U.S. The company creates, develops and operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties spanning 25 locations in nine states. HFE is committed to “creating memories worth repeating” by producing wholesome, immersive family entertainment experiences. http://www.hfecorp.com.

About Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Through simple shoebox gifts and a message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 113 million children in more than 150 countries and territories. In 2014, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 10 million children. http://www.samaritanspurse.org

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Lauren Irwin
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