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OCC: More than 10,000 shoebox gifts collected by Buffalo-area residents

by jmaloni

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Fri, Dec 5th 2014 06:20 pm

Virtual shoeboxes become tangible gifts for children in need

From a few clicks on a computer or mobile device, shoebox gifts provide hope worldwide

Buffalo-area residents rallied together to pack more than 10,000 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts last month for children worldwide struggling with war, disease, poverty and other difficult circumstances. Although the collection sites are closed for 2014, Buffalo residents can still contribute to the local collection number by packing a shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org.

With Operation Christmas Child's virtual-packing tool, it is quick, easy and convenient to pack a Christmas gift for a child in one of the hardest-to-reach countries. The online tool allows anyone to go from a virtual shopper to a vital influence in just a few clicks.

At samaritanspurse.org, visitors select a child's age and gender, shop through an online selection of culturally relevant gifts, "build" their shoebox and finish it off by uploading a photo and writing a note of encouragement to the child who will receive it.

For many, building a shoebox online provides the perfect complement to a busy lifestyle and is a perfect way to provide a tangible expression of love to children living in desperate situations. The virtual-packing tool also offers participants the option to challenge friends to participate or the opportunity to give a donation that lets others build online themselves.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Through simple shoebox gifts and a message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 113 million children in more than 150 countries. In 2014, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 10 million children.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 1-800-353-5949 or visit samaritanspurse.org.

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