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Local church is looking to give back to children in need

16 November 2017

Calvary Community Church is collecting shoe box gifts now through November 20.

Those with Pathways Inc.,'s IDD Adult Training Program are doing just that, kicking off the collection for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child by donating four shoeboxes filled with gifts to help children less privileged.

Local families are invited again to make an impact in the lives of children in need.

"The first distribution site, I just cried", she said.

Carolyn Holbert works on clear plastic boxes for shipment overseas as part of Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child was started in 1990, and three years later it was adopted by Samaritan's Purse.

G St., Oakdale is the drop off site locally for Operation Christmas Child, which is in the midst of its National Collection Week.

The boxes contain gifts for boys and girls from ages 2 to 14.

Operation Christmas Child of Northwest Michigan managed to organize more than 12,000 of these boxes a year ago.

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"We are hoping to add another 12 million worldwide 9.6 million from the United States", said community relations coordinator, Mike O'Connor.

Parker-Moore said what is truly incredible 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.

For Klosterbuer and Hayenga, volunteering with Operation Christmas Child has been a wonderful experience. They will not know where this year's collection goes until the spring.

Dove Christian Center in Rapid City is the main hub collecting the boxes, kicking off the drive on Monday before shipping them out next week. "It is a gift for a child in need and the gift of Christ".

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Huerta said she would encourage students of all ages to get involved.

"People can donate a box of things, people can donate an individual item called fillers", he said.

9-11 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. today; 4-6 p.m. Thursday; 4-6 p.m. Friday; 1-4 p.m. Saturday; 1-4 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m.to noon Monday.

School supplies can be life-changing. Select a medium to large "wow" item such as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies.

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Operation Christmas Child also has boxes that volunteers can build and purchase online. "I start acquiring items nearly immediately after the last round of boxes are packed and just keep collecting all year long".

Local church is looking to give back to children in need