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While most people in the U.S. are preparing for holiday activities, Los Alamos volunteers with Operation Christmas Child — the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind — are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas.
This year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization, Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect 590 gift-filled shoeboxes during National Collection Week (Nov. 12-19).
Anyone can drop off a packed shoebox at the Los Alamos-area collection site. Then, using whatever means necessary — trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants — the shoebox gifts will be hand delivered to children in 100 countries around the world.
White Rock Baptist Church, 80 N.M. 4, 800-353-5949
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
Noon-2 p.m. Nov. 17 and 18
10 a.m.-noon Nov. 19
Additional local collection sites can be found using the online Zip Code locator at samaritanspurse.org.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone — collecting and delivering shoeboxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. During that time, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 94 million shoebox gifts and hand delivered them to children in more than 130 countries.
This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9 million gift-filled shoeboxes. For many children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they have ever received.
Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to “follow” their box to the destination country, where it will be given to a child in need. To register shoebox gifts and find out the destination country, use the “Follow Your Box” donation form found at samaritanspurse.org/occ.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 303-745-9179 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov. 12-19; however, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.