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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Operation Christmas Child underway

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Area residents are working on a project to brighten the lives of millions of children in need around the world. Volunteers are preparing to collect 500 gift-filled shoe boxes, Monett's target contribution, to the world's largest project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child.

Volunteers are filling shoe boxes with gifts, candy, school supplies and personal hygiene items for children in need overseas.

Through Samaritan's Purse, this project, under the direction of Franklin Graham, is gearing up to collect shoe boxes from Nov. 12 through Nov. 19.

Blessings Books and Gifts, located at 222 E. Broadway St. in Monett, is serving as a local collection site. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 through Saturday, Nov. 17, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18 and from 9 a.m. until noon on Monday, Nov. 19.

"We collected 21,000 shoe boxes last year in the southwest Missouri region," said event chairman Winnie Tuckness. "This year, our goal for Monett is 500. Those will be added to shoeboxes collected in other areas and sent out."

This year, the organization expects to reach a milestone, collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since the program's inception in 1993. Since then, the organization has collected over 94 million boxes and hand delivered them to children in need in more than 130 countries.

Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to follow their box to its destination country where it will be delivered to a child. Information on how to register gift boxes can be found at www.samaritanspurse.org under "follow your box."

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, call Tuckness at 417-894-0933 or Kathie Skaggs, local volunteer, at 417-635-1006 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.

Silver Dollar City (SDC) is promoting Operation Christmas Child this year. They will give away Silver Dollar City Park tickets to churches within a 100 mile radius of SDC who pack more than 100 shoe boxes and who have signed up to take the Silver Dollar City Challenge. To register a church, go to www.silverdollarcity.com/shoebox. Those taking the challenge will receive a confirmation email giving instructions to print off their confirmation e-mail to bring to their shoe box drop off location during National Collection Week and give to the volunteer at the registration table.

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