SARANAC LAKE - Operation Christmas Child is asking schools, churches and civic organizations to donate gifts that will be packed into shoeboxes and distributed to millions of children suffering from war, terrorism, disease, natural disaster, famine and poverty in more than 130 countries worldwide.
In 2011, more than 8.6 million shoeboxes were collected and distributed by Operation Christmas Child. Of those, more than six million were collected in the U.S.
"For many of those children, it was the first gift they'd ever received," Rita Alford of Operation Christmas Child said in a press release.
To pack a shoebox, select a gender to donate it to, then choose an age group: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Then fill the box with a variety of gifts, including school supplies, toys, hygiene items, clothes, hard candy and a personal note to the child and a family photo.
Please enclose $7 or more to help cover shipping and other project costs. Complete instructions are available on the Samaritan's Purse website at www.samaritanspurse.org.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, please call Rita Alford at 518-563-5799 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org. National collection week is Nov. 12-19. Locally, shoeboxes can be dropped off at High Peaks Church, 97 Will Rogers Dr., Saranac Lake. Collection hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Nov. 19.