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Operation Christmas Child sends out summer appeal

8 million children recipients of gift boxes


While temperatures are soaring into the 90’s, the South East Ohio Operation Christmas Child team members and volunteers are already planning ahead for Christmas.

They are now collecting the items now that will be used later this year to fill those shoe boxes that are sent to children around the world.

Volunteer Gaylene St. Leger Cox, who is involved in the OCC effort in Lawrence County, said the organization is collecting such gifts as school supplies, hygiene items, small toys, hard candy and a stuffed animal that will be given to needy and hurting child in lands ravaged by natural disasters, famine, war, disease, terrorism.

In 2011, 8,630,568 children in more than 100 countries received a gift-filled shoe box through OCC.

“If these shoe boxes were stacked on top of each other, they would be 137 times greater than Mt. Everest,” Cox said.

In 2011, donors in the 10 county South East Ohio area, comprised of Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties, contributed 25,183 of the 662,763 shoe box gifts that were filled in the Great Lakes Region which is comprised of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and West Virginia.

“With plenty of time before National Collection Week, moms, grandmoms, aunts and family and friends who knit can make caps, scarves or gloves/mittens to add to the gift boxes. Or, if you sew, you can make drawstring bags into which school supplies may be packed,” Cox said. “While being creative and having fun you can make a real difference in the life of a child without hope.”

The OCC National Collection Week is Nov. 12-19.

There are 2,798 drop off centers in the U.S. where items may be taken.

For information on drop-off sites, please call 1 (800) 353-5949 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org” www.samaritanspurse.org.