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Send gifts to children across the globe through nonprofit Operation Christmas Child

COURTESY PHOTO: OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD  - Children in Ecuador open their Christmas boxes. A charitable effort is kicking off next month that has families stuff shoeboxes with gifts to be delivered to millions of children in need each year for Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child, a nonprofit organization that has been going for 28 years, will collect boxes filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for children in the third week of November. Then those boxes of joy are sent across the globe to orphanages, schools, churches and community centers.

You can fill your shoebox and drop it off at a collection center — there will be several across the region, to be announced in late October. In the past there has been a large collection center in Gresham. Then participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through "Follow Your Box" to receive a tracking label to discover its ultimate destination.

Suggested items for the box include stuffed animals, sports balls, clothing, personal care items, crafts and activities, and small toys. Do not include liquids, food, or any items associated with war. Those filling boxes are also encouraged to include a personal note of caring and friendship. Visit sampur.se/3knKyyb for gift ideas.

You can also fill a virtual shoebox by going online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a kid's specific age and gender. Those virtual boxes can include a photo and personal note of encouragement. The boxes built online are sent to hard-to-reach countries.

For more information on Operation Christmas Child call 253-572-1155 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ


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