By Linda George
Operation Christmas Child
Today millions of children around the world don’t have a toothbrush or a bar of soap to wash their face. They don’t know what it’s like to cuddle a stuffed animal or even open a Christmas present.
With the help of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, our 2021 goal is to bring joy to 9.7 million children worldwide through a shoe box gift.
You can be part of the world’s largest Christmas project. It’s really easy here in Pagosa because youth groups like 4-H and Fellowship of Christian Athletes along with 25 local churches have red and green shoe boxes just waiting for you to fill. You can also find them at Ace Hardware, Dusty Roads Gifts, First Southwest Bank, Bank of the San Juans, San Juan Salon and United Parcel Post.
Pick a boy or girl ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14 and go shopping for basic items like a toothbrush, soap, washcloth, crayons, a pencil and a coloring book or notebook. Add a wow toy like a stuffed animal, a doll, a car or game. You can even personalize your gift with a note of encouragement and a picture of yourself or the entire family. Don’t include candy or toothpaste so it will meet customs regulations. Labels are provided in each box along with an envelope for postage.
Join our community in touching the lives of needy children around the world this Christmas and reaching our goal of 2,000 boxes. Our collection week for all shoe box gifts is Nov. 15-22. The drop-off location is Crossroad Christian Fellowship, 1033 Park Ave., next door to the Recreation Center.
For your convenience and protection, there will be a drive-thru set up in the parking lot, and all volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves when you bring your gift. Please return your filled boxes during the following times below and bring hope to a child this Christmas:
• Monday, Nov. 15, 1-3 p.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 16, 1-3 p.m.
• Wednesday, Nov. 17, 1-3 p.m.
• Thursday, Nov. 18, 1-3 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 19, 1-3 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 20, 1-3 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 21, 1-3 p.m.
• Monday, Nov. 22, 8-10 a.m.