Operation Christmas Child collection begins - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Operation Christmas Child collection begins

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Christmas is arriving early in Waterloo, as Hammond Avenue Brethren Church prepares to serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child. Soon, with the help of local volunteers, the site will be brimming with festively wrapped shoe boxes full of gifts.

Through Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project, Waterloo area residents are helping send shoe box gifts this year to more than 8 million children in 100 countries suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty. From Waterloo, the shoe box gifts will be sorted and sent using whatever means necessary-sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, boats, camels, even dog sleds-to reach suffering children around the world.

Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that 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 what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org.

LOCAL COLLECTION SITES:

Hammond Avenue Brethren Church

1604 Hammond Avenue

Waterloo, IA 50702

(319) 290-0978

Mon: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tues: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Wed: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Thurs: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fri: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sat: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sun: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Mon: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Student Connection Center

729 11th Street

Aplington, IA 50604

(319) 404-1582

Mon: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Tues: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Wed: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Thurs: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Fri: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sat: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Mon: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Last year, Hammond Avenue Brethren Church contributed 9220 shoe boxes to the Operation Christmas Child effort. This year, organizers hope to collect over 10000 gift-filled shoe boxes from families, kids, churches, schools and civic organizations in the area.

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:

PROMOTE-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 <http://www.samaritanspurse.org/>.

PREPARE-Sign up to join Operation Christmas Child volunteers at collection sites in Waterloo 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 1-800-353-5949 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org <http://www.samaritanspurse.org/>. National Collection Week is Nov. 15-22.

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