Operation Christmas Child Project Taking Shape In Payson

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Christmas is arriving early in the Rim Country as Payson Care Center prepares to serve as a collection point for the 2009 Operation Christmas Child project. Soon Payson Care Center, 107 E. Lone Pine Drive, by Payson Regional Medical Center, will be brimming with festively wrapped shoeboxes full of gifts.

Through Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project, Rim residents are packing shoeboxes of gifts for children in more than 100 countries suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty.

From Payson, the shoebox gifts will be sorted and sent to suffering children around the world.

“Operation Christmas Child is a unique opportunity to do something as simple as packing a shoebox that will have a lasting impact on a child a world away,” said Krystal Klabbatz, Operation Christmas Child drop-off site coordinator.

“We are excited about the 2009 collection season as community members have already begun packing shoebox gifts,”

Payson Care Center will accept the shoeboxes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 16 through Nov. 20; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 21 and Nov. 22; and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Nov. 23.

Individuals and groups are invited to participate. To help:

Decide if you will be providing a gift for a girl or boy in the age categories of 2 to 4; 5 to 9; or 10 to 14, and indicate that information on the shoebox.

Fill shoeboxes (regular size or plastic) with:

• School supplies such as pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and inkpad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books;

• Toys like small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos or jump ropes;

• Necessity items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb and washcloth;

• Hard candy (double bagged); and/or

• T-shirts (plain), socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches and flashlights (with extra batteries).

Participants are also encouraged to include a letter of encouragement in the box in a separate envelope along with a photo of themselves and/or their family and their name and address so the recipient may write back. 

Put a rubber band around the unwrapped, labeled box and drop off at Payson Care Center during the hours and days noted, along with a $7 donation to cover shipping and other costs.

Step-by-step shoebox packing instructions are available at www.samaritanspurse.org. as are labels for downloading to identify your preferred recipient.

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 shoebox gifts and find out what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org. or call (800) 381-3515.

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 69 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in some 130 countries.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (303) 745- 9179 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.

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