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Operation Christmas Child collects in Arlington, Marysville Nov. 14-21

SMOKEY POINT — Arlington's Atonement Free Lutheran Church and Marysville's Amen Christian Bookstore will be serving as drop-off locations for the return of Operation Christmas Child, which aims to collect close to 900 gift-filled shoe boxes locally, packed with toys, school supplies and items of necessity for kids who are hurting in 100 countries.

The national collection week for Operation Christmas Child runs from Nov. 14-21. Jennifer Butler, media relations associate for Operation Christmas Child, encouraged prospective participants in the program to take the following steps:

• Enlist families, churches, Scout troops, community groups and businesses to take part in creating shoe box gifts for needy children worldwide.

• Fill the shoe boxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and letters of encouragement. Step-by-step shoe box packing instructions are available at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

• Sign up to join Operation Christmas Child volunteers at their collection sites in Arlington and Marysville as part of the effort to prepare millions of shoe box gifts for delivery to underprivileged kids on six continents.

Atonement Free Lutheran Church is located at 6905 172nd St. NE in Arlington. Amen Christian Bookstore is located at 318 State Ave. in Marysville. The collection days and hours for both are Nov. 14-19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 20 from noon to 2 p.m. and Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bonnie Buse, the volunteer who's coordinating collection efforts in both towns, can be called about Arlington at 360-435-9191 and about Marysville at 425-530-2298. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 303-745-9179 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Tracking technology also allows donors to "follow" their boxes to their destination countries, where they will be hand-delivered to children in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out their destination countries, use the "Follow Your Box" donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

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