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Joins Global Christmas Project to send joy to children overseas

HOUGHTON — As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Houghton families are expressing their gratitude by giving back. Residents are filling shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week Nov. 18 – 25, local residents will collect shoebox gifts at drop-off locations in the area. The Samaritan’s Purse project, partnering with churches worldwide, will deliver these gifts to children in need. Area volunteers hope to collect more than 10,000 gifts during the week.

“It’s amazing to see the local community rally together for a global impact,” said Regional Director David Zimmerman. “We see all ages getting involved – and more and more every year.”

Houghton residents are not alone in their effort to help children around the world. More than 150,000 U.S. volunteers including families, churches and other groups are joining forces to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind. In 2019, Samaritan’s Purse hopes to collect enough Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to reach 11 million children, with 10,000 coming from the local area.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 937-374-0761, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.