Larned is ready to collect Christmas cheer in the form of a shoe box. Local residents have set a goal of 200 gift-filled shoe boxes and by the end of National Collection Week, every Operation Christmas Child drop-off site hopes to be bursting with these gifts of love that bring joy to needy children worldwide, according to Pastor Mark Slattery at Larned’s First Southern Baptist Church.
Larned residents are joining Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project, to help send shoe box gifts this year to more than 8 million children in 100 countries who are suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty.
Operation Christmas Child uses whatever means necessary to reach suffering children around the world including sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats, camels and even dogsleds.
Tracking technology also allows donors to "follow your box" to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out the destination country, use the EZ Give donation form found at www. samaritanspurse.org.
Local collection sites: First Southern Baptist Church, 1224 Corse Ave., Larned, KS 67550, (620) 285·3294 —Monday, Nov. 15, Saturday, Nov. 20: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 21: 1-5 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 22: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of International Christian Relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 77 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in some 130 countries.
What you can do to get involved:
* PREPARE — Enlist families, churches, Scout troops, community groups and businesses to take part in creating shoe box gifts for needy children worldwide.
* PACK — Fill shoe boxes with school supplies, toys, necessity items, hard candy and a letter of encouragement. Step-by-step shoe box packing instructions are available at www.samaritanspurse. org.
* PROCESS — Sign up to join Operation Christmas Child volunteers at collection sites in Larned as part of the effort to prepare millions of shoe box gifts for delivery to underprivileged kids on six continents.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call your regional office at (913)-831-4466 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoe boxes is Nov. 15-22; however, shoe box gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.