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Operation Christmas Child under way
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Get involved

• Enlist families, churches, scout troops, community groups and businesses to collect items for shoe boxes.  
• Fill shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, hard candy and letters of encouragement. Step-by-step shoe box packing instructions are at
Coastal Georgia recently kicked off this year’s Operation Christmas Child campaign, a project designed to help children in need around the world. Coordinators in communities in and around Savannah are working to spread the word, get residents involved and collect donations.
Operation Christmas Child participants collect shoe boxes filled with small toys, educational material and other items for children to be distributed around the world at Christmas time. After collecting them locally, participants take them to relay sites, which then deliver them to a distribution center in Atlanta for packaging and shipping overseas.
This year, representatives from the organization say they plan to deliver boxes of gifts to more than 8 million struggling children in 100 countries.  
Last year, several Hinesville groups helped with the effort, including First Baptist Church and First Presbyterian Christian Academy.
First Baptist member Joyce Laseter said, “Each September, our Women on a Mission sponsor the project and have collected many boxes over the years.”
Gabe Walker, the Southeast regional manager for Operation Christmas Child, said it’s never too soon to get started, and late August is a great time to take advantage of good deals.
“With all the sales on back-to-school items, this is the perfect time to start buying items for a shoe box,” he said. “It’s such an incredible blessing to be involved in a project that lets kids who are suffering in other parts of the world know that someone really cares about them.”
National collection week for gift-filled shoe boxes is Nov. 15-22.
Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief and evangelism organization, sponsors Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse President and CEO Franklin Graham said that since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has distributed shoe box gifts to more than 77 million needy children in some 130 countries.

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