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You can still help Operation Christmas Child
SMOKEY POINT — Members of the Marysville and Arlington communities have already pitched in on behalf of Operation Christmas Child, but with the number of suffering children served worldwide by the non-profit program its organizers hope that local residents will take advantage of one last chance to contribute to its cause before the end of the year.
According to Jennifer Butler of OCC, Arlington residents went from packing 830 gift-filled shoeboxes for OCC last year to packing 1,006 OCC gift boxes this year. While Marysville residents went from packing 901 gift-filled shoeboxes for OCC last year to packing 603 OCC gift boxes this year, Butler emphasized that both Marysville and Arlington residents can still log onto the OCC website, at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ, to take advantage of its “Build a Box” program on behalf of needy children overseas.
“It’s a simple, quick, yet meaningful way to impact a child in need,” Butler said. “Volunteers can select a child’s age and gender, shop through an online selection of gifts, ‘pack’ them in an empty shoe box, and finish it off with a note of encouragement. Then, through tracking technology, donors can ‘follow’ the box to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered.”
Although OCC’s official National Collection Week ran from Nov. 14-21 this year, donors can still pack gift boxes for needy children virtually through “Build a Box” until Dec. 31.
“This is such a neat way for residents to continue to spread the joy of Christmas worldwide,” Butler said. “It’s a convenient way to join in a project that will bring hope to more than 8.5 million children suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, famine and poverty this year.”
Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, uses these gift-filled shoeboxes to let hurting children know they are loved and not forgotten. For many of these children, the shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received.
Since 1993, OCC has hand-delivered more than 86 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in more than 130 countries.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 253-572-1155 or log onto www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
“For families who haven’t yet packed their gift of hope, it’s not too late,” Butler said.