"Operation Christmas Child" Officially Collecting Boxes

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The Samaritan's Purse project collects shoeboxes full of gifts for children in need around the world.

"My goal would just be.I can't even tell you".

Nancy Morrison, Drop Off Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Rapid City, says, "It's such an honor to serve in such an fantastic organization".

The gifts may be chosen for male or female and in three age ranges: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.

Operation Christmas Child partners with churches, orphanages and schools in these underdeveloped countries that figure out which children need a gift of love the most.

Snyder said the boxes will go to children in 100 different countries around the world.

McGlone and friends shopped for a boy and girl age 2 to 4, along with two more boxes for a boy and girl age 5 to 9.

Parker-Moore said what is truly wonderful is that it's the little things that can be found in the box, like a toothbrush or a wash cloth, that these children really cherish.

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"Operation Christmas Child" is officially underway.

Donations will be collected through next Monday, November 20.

Gerri Miller, 37, of Oberlin, has been involved with Operation Christmas Child since 2003, when she first heard about it in college. Among the appropriate gifts, Mabry said, include dolls, small toys, hygiene items, school items such as pens, pencils and new, unused notebooks, small games, clothing, soccer balls and special notes.

"These children that it's going to have never had any gift of any sorts given to them, so for them, it's joy". "We'd like to see a good 1,000 go from this area, to East Stroudsburg, then from there to Baltimore and from the processing there, they go directly to the children".

"Every box is prayed over as it's packed", said McGuffin, church relations team coordinator.

Grade 6 student Zoey Harper explained it was a thrilling time to be able to help children who may not necessarily have some of the items in the boxes. "I start acquiring items nearly immediately after the last round of boxes are packed and just keep collecting all year long".

Operation Christmas Child also has boxes that volunteers can build and purchase online.