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Local News

Russell Collection Site Opens Next Week to Receive Gift-Filled Shoe Boxes

Operation Christmas ChildWhile most people in the US are preparing for holiday activities, Russell and surrounding area volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas.

This year-round project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse is ramping up for National Collection Week, which is November 12-19. Area volunteers have set a goal to collect 533 gift-filled shoe boxes.

Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at the Russell-area collection site. Then, using whatever means necessary - trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants - the shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world.

Local volunteer and organizer Alice Hammack says pack average-size shoe boxes so all children involved can receive basically the same amount of gifts across the board.

"You have to remember that these are still children and if you have children lined up to get a gift, and the guy in front of you gets a size 14 boot box and you end up with a toddler size three, you're still going to feel a little sad," said Hammack. "So use a regular size shoe box, and they say that's a ladies eight; somewhere in that neigborhood."

The Russell collection site is Otterbein United Methodist Church located at 120 West Wisconsin Street in Russell.

The hours of operation are as follows:

  • November 12 - 16: 8 AM - 12:30 PM
  • November 17: 10 AM - 12:30 PM
  • November 18: 2 - 4 PM
  • November 19: 8 AM - 10 AM

According to Hammack, in 2012 Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone - collecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. During that time, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 94 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to suffering children in more than 130 countries. This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9 million gift-filled shoe boxes.

Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to "follow" their box to the destination country where it will be given to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out the destination country, use the "Follow Your Box" donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. 

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call Alice Hammack at 483-2629 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

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