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Donate a shoebox full of happy

Shoeboxes filled with items to make a child happy at Christmas will be collected at First United Methodist Church in Russellville.

Individuals, church groups and other organizations are encouraged to pack gift-filled shoeboxes for distribution worldwide to children living in poverty or affected by war, disease and natural disasters during the annual event during the week of Nov. 16-23.

Since 1993, shoebox gifts have been delivered to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries and territories, according to a news release from the organization.

In 2015 the goal is to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach more than 11 million children, with 20,600 of those boxes coming from central Kansas. Once collected, the gifts will be taken overseas.

Shoeboxes will be collected at Russellville First United Methodist Church, 311 Jackson Avenue North, Russellville, AL 35653, Nov. 16, 17, 20 and 23 from 9 a.m. to noon; Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon and 5-7 p.m.; Nov. 21 from 9-11 a.m.; and Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Shoebox gifts can be filled with basic hygiene items, small toys, school supplies and notes of encouragement for boys or girls ages 2-14. Shoeboxes should not include damaged items; toy guns, knives or military figures; seeds; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items or aerosol cans.

If boxes are wrapped, wrap lids separately. A donation of $7 in a check to Samaritan’s Purse should be placed in an envelope on the top of the items in each box to cover shipping expenses.

Each shoebox should be secured with a rubber band and labeled as for a boy or girl in the age categories of 2-4, 5-8 or 9-14.

Participants can print labels, pack a box or follow their box online to discover where in the world their gift is delivered by using the donation form found at smaritanspurse.org/occ.

 

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