Nov. 13-20: National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts

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    By Claire Huerta
    Special to The SUN
    Pagosa Springs families are on a mission to make an impact in the lives of children in need. They are donating colorfully wrapped shoe box gifts to be sent to children around the world — many of whom have never received a gift before and have very little to call their own.
    Nov. 13-20 is Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, when local residents will collect shoe box gifts filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse project will deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. The Four Corners Colorado Area Team volunteers have a goal of collecting more than 5,150 gifts during the week.
    “It’s exciting to think of the impact our efforts will have in the life of each child who receives a shoe box,” said Regional Director Paul Fischbach. “We can’t wait to see how our community will respond this year to share God’s love with children across the globe.”
    Pagosa Springs residents are not alone in their effort to help children around the world. More than 150,000 volunteers including families, churches and other groups are joining forces to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind.
    In 2017, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoe box gifts to reach 12 million children, with 5,150 coming from the Four Corners Colorado Area Team.
    For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call (303) 745-9179 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can donate $9 per shoe box gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browsesamaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoe box by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.