Residents collect shoebox gifts

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By Special to the Monitor

Christmas is arriving early in Los Alamos, as White Rock Baptist Church prepares to serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child. Soon, with the help of local volunteers, the site will be brimming with festively wrapped shoeboxes full of gifts.  
Through Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project, Los Alamos residents are helping send shoe box gifts this year to more than 8 million children in 100 countries suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty.
From Los Alamos, the shoebox gifts will be sorted and sent using whatever means necessary —sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats, camels, even dog sleds —to reach suffering children around the world.
 Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to “follow your box” to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need.
To register shoebox gifts and find out what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritans
Drop shoeboxes off at White Rock Baptist Church, 80 N.M. 4. For more information, call 672-9764; hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
This is the first year White Rock Baptist Church has served as a drop-off point for Operation Christmas Child.
In 2010, organizers hope to collect over 100 gift-filled shoeboxes from families, kids, churches, schools and civic organizations in the area.
 Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 77 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in some 130 countries.