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Christmas in a shoebox packages Christian message

Children often expect elaborate gifts for Christmas such as electronics, bikes, clothes and sometimes money. But children across the world often do without gifts during the holidays.

The California Scholarship Federation [CSF] club is participating for the first time in the Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child. This organization sends a shoebox full of gifts to needy children around the world during the holiday season.

?Having this project lets the students get involved,? Ellen King, CSF adviser, said. ?It also allows the students do show an act of giving, that focuses on someone in need.?

For over 35 years, the Samaritan’s Purse mission has been to the aid the poor, sick and suffering in the world. Their objective is to reach hurting people in countries around the world by providing food, medicine and other assistance in the name of Christ.

CSF treasurer, Aaron Ortiz, ?07, believes this opportunity will allow students to get involved in the school and help the community.

?Participating in this event is not expensive,? Ortiz said. ?We typically forget how fortunate we are and this is an opportunity to give back to others.?

The Operation Christmas Child has been a charitable event involving churches and schools for the past decades. Several campus students participated in the program during elementary school and this, in part, inspired CSF to participate in it.

?In elementary we always did this project and I think it is good that we are doing it again now.? Jennifer Schmidt, ?06, said. ?I have filled shoeboxes with all sorts of things that can range from small toys, to coloring books and soap.?

The following are requirements and standards for each shoebox: no used or damaged items, war-related items, chocolate or food, lotion or liquids. Students are advised to included toys, school supplies and hygienic items. Participants are also encouraged to write a note and send a photo to their child.

?In addition to giving the usual toys, I am planning on putting in a Bible,? Brittany Motte, ?07, said. ?I want the kids to have a wonderful Christmas and learn what Christmas is really about. I hope to introduce them to Christianity and maybe this little gift will help change their life.?

Filled shoeboxes will be due Nov. 2 at lunch in 604. CSF officers will also be organizing a shoebox wrapping party after school on Nov. 2.

?I think it is a good for the students to come together and show what they have done,? Kara Linkowski, ?08, said. ?It is a good feeling and, for me, I can compare it to wrapping Christmas presents.?

For more information on upcoming CSF, events contact King at [email protected].

According to the Operation Christmas Child’s brochure, those interested in donating items should follow the directions below.

How to pack your shoebox gift:

1. Find and empty shoebox (standard size, please). You can wrap it-lid separately-if you would like, but wrapping is not required.

2. Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl and the category: 2-4,5-9, or 10-14. Cut out the appropriate label on the back of the given brochure, tape it on the top of your box, and mark the correct age category.

3. The first ingredient to pack in your shoebox is prayer (1 John 5:14).

4. Fill the box with a variety of gifts using the list below as a guide. In a separate envelope you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back)

5. IMPORTANT: Please enclose a check for $5 or more in the attached envelope to help cover shipping and other costs. Please make checks payable to Samaritan?s Purse, and note on the memo line that the gift is for Operation Christmas Child. If you are packing more than one box, you can make one combined donation in a single envelope. Place the envelope on top of the gift items inside your shoebox so it is clearly visible. Then place a rubber band around you box and lid.

6. Drop off your shoebox gift at the Collection Center nearest you in mid-November. For locations and dates, call 1-800-353-5949, visit us online at www.samaritanspurse.org, or send your shoebox gift to:
Samaritan?s Purse, Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road, P.O. Box 3000
Boone, NC 28607

Suggested Gifts:

Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), slinky, etc.

School supplies: pens, pencils, and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, coloring books, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, etc.

Hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in plastic bag), comb, washcloths, etc.

Other: hard candy, lollipops, mints, gum, sunglasses, flashlights (with extra batteries), ball caps, socks, t-shirts, toy jewelry, hair clips, watches, small picture books, etc.

Do NOT include the following:

? Used or damaged items
? War-related items: toy guns, knives, military figures
? Perishable items (chocolate, food)
? Liquids (shampoo, lotion, bubbles)
? Medications or vitamins
? Breakable items: snow globes, glass containers, aerosol cans

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    Rishele RossAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    That’s so cool!